When it comes to sports fans and technology, it appears to be a match made in heaven. In a new report by Nielsen, which looked at a broad range of data from the sports industry, it was determined that avid sports fans, when compared directly to non-avid sports fans, were 20 percent more likely to have a high-definition TV. Those polled were 21 percent more likely to purchase a smartphone, 33 percent more likely to own a gaming console and 42 percent more likely to utilize a DVR.
The study also found that the sports fans were 52 percent more likely to own a tablet, those increasingly popular devices, such as iPads, that are a like mix between a personal computer, a laptop and a smartphone.
The obvious question is, why? What makes a tablet so much more appealing to a sports fan than the average technology user?
The Tablet as a Second Screen – Creating an Interactive Experience
The answer may lay in the fact that a tablet allows an individual to become a participant in the experience, rather than merely a spectator. A tablet provides a sports fan with a multitude of avenues that he or she can explore while watching the game – live-tweeting, following a discussion with like-minded fans on social media platforms, or interacting with sports apps to get a broader picture of the day’s events. Any of these activities gives the sports fan a deeper involvement with the tablet experience.
Viewing sports is still very much an in-the-moment experience – in fact, the Nielsen report indicates that 99 percent of all sporting events are consumed by television viewers between 18-49 years of age the same day the event takes place – and the tablet enhances that in-the-moment experience. In an interview with Mashable, Stephen Master, the Senior Vice President of Sports for Nielsen, stated, “Smartphones and tablets haven’t quite changed the live sports viewing experience yet — TV is still the top platform — but our research shows that more and more people are frequently using these devices while watching TV, indicating that these devices are enhancing that viewing experience.”
Enhancing the Experience through Tailored Content – Top Sports Apps
Sports apps are one of the driving motivators of having a tablet for many sports fans. In fact, Nielsen indicates that nearly 60 percent of sports fans use their tablet on a daily basis to check sports-related content.
According to Men’s Health, a few of the best apps for sports fans, including both free and pay apps, include:
- MLB.com At Bat ‘13
- NFL ‘13
- ESPN College Football
- NBA Game Time
- Race Fan Ultimate
- Golf Channel’s Golf Live Extra
- Sports Bar Finder
There is no shortage of apps for tech-savvy sports fans to choose from. And as it turns out, sports fans’ needs are being met because there is a clear demand for not only free content, but pay content as well.