Autumn not only heralds in the cold, but also the chants of sports fans barracking for their favourite teams. March is full-on, marking the start of the of the AFL and NRL seasons, as A-League soccer begins to wind down.
The intense interest in sport during this period means it is the perfect time for brands to consider advertising in the sporting section of newspapers. Drawing 12.2 million sports fans, news media is a powerful tool for advertisers to reach consumers and convert them to customers.
Sport section readers are more likely to be highly engaged readers, out indexing total newspaper readers (+9 per cent) and those who read newspapers but not the sport (+46 per cent).
News media readers are huge sports consumers too, with 11.6 million regularly watching sport on TV and 5.8 million going to live sport events. Sport section readers are also the most engaged, with 51 per cent more likely to be regular watchers of sport on TV.
Cricket is the most popular sport watched on television by news media readers at 5.9 million, with 3.3 million of those readers of the sport section. This was very closely followed by AFL, with 5.5 million news media readers tuning in – and 3.1 million of those sport section readers.
Sports section readers are nearly twice as likely to be watching sport on TV for AFL, cricket, NRL and soccer.
News media readers are more likely to attend live AFL games than any other sporting event, with a turnout of 2.5 million.
However, when sport section readers are isolated, cricket comes out on top with readers 98 per cent more likely to be heading to a live match. AFL is again second most popular, with sport section readers 80 per cent more likely to head to a game.
This impressive reach is even more significant when shown in relation to spending. Sport section readers are more likely to be big spenders across several categories.
The sport section indexed highest with those spending on dwelling repairs and maintenance, with readers 23 percent more likely to be big spenders. The category was most popular with cricket fans, who indexed 14 per cent more likely to spend on these products and services.
Sport section readers are also spending on travel-related expenses, 22 per cent more likely to buy travel insurance and 16 per cent more likely to spend on holiday & airfare expenditure. In both instances, NRL fans are the most likely to be big spenders in these categories, 20 per cent and 6 per cent more likely, respectively.
Building contents insurance is 15 per cent more likely to be spent on by a sport section reader, with NRL fans 16 per cent more likely to spend big
Most surprisingly, the top five most popular spending categories by sports section readers is rounded out by women’s clothing and footwear, with readers 15 per cent more likely to be big spenders on these items. This is particularly evident among AFL fans who are 11 per cent more likely to spend.
The sport section offers a huge opportunity for brands to get creative and produce striking campaigns. Brand-building campaigns and product led call-to-action campaigns are both highly effective to gain these readers.
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NewsMediaWorks’ creative benchmarking research pits advertisements against each other to determine the most effective elements of each.
The study of two Optus and Swisse advertisements placed in the sport section demonstrates the strong emotional connection the section offers.
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