Many have noted that tablets are experiencing a meteoric rise in popularity. Compared to smartphones, tablet use has grown ten times faster in the technology’s first two years. From 2012 to 2013, tablet’s share of website browsing has grown 300%. With the boom in this technology, many industries are struggling to understand and leverage tablet use.
The above infographic comes courtesy of the ComStore Data Mine, a place where the analytics company shares interesting tidbits found through their work. The infographic provides some simple demographics information on U.S. tablet users and covers several of their behavior patterns on the device. An important piece of information to notice on the infographic is the prevalence and activity of tablet users on social media sites. Another key piece of information is the close relationship between tablets and ecommerce (further explored here).
So, how can tablets be leveraged for sports? Tablets have value for sports as a tool for eCommerce and as a second screen. In terms of eCommerce, tablets are a naturally fit for sports. As the infographic above notes, two of the top three purchase categories on tablets – merchandise and tickets – are directly applicable to sports. Today, 52% of tablet owners say they prefer to shop on their tablet rather than PC. As a whole, tablet users have shown to be a desirable segment due to their considerable average household income, strong conversion rates, and prevalence in the 18-34 age range. To get the most from tablet eCommerce, teams and leagues should, at minimum, ensure their website and store are mobile friendly. Ideally, teams should make their merchandise and even tickets available through clean, commerce-focused apps, like the previously-reviewed Fanatics App. It is also important for teams/leagues integrate mobile device use into the promotions, coupons, and rewards programs. As for second screen potential, tablets again make a great deal of sense for sports companies. For those who don’t know, a second screen refers to a device used at the same time as another device in an effort to enrich the viewing experience. In sports, a common second screen situation is a viewer watching the sporting event on TV, while discussing on social media. Since early in their adoption, tablets have been popular as second screens. 41% of tablet users report using their tablet at least once a day while watching TV. Sports have a significant opportunity to create further engagement using broadcasts and tablet second screens in coordination. This goal of this connection is to use the tablet to provide the viewer with a variety of situation-relevant content and an overall more immersive experience. Given the social media-friendly nature of tablet users, broadcasts also become a great opportunity to get connected with viewers and foster discussions. These types of tablet applications have been pioneered by others in the entertainment industry. For example, the “Story Sync” feature of AMC’s the Walking Dead App exemplifies this type of socially-focused second screen coordination. Whether it is in eCommere or as a second screen, sports has a lot to gain from a greater focus on tablets.
The NFL took a creative approach to promoting its traditional Thanksgiving Day football games. The league created a turkey-themed infographic covering a brief history of Thanksgiving success by team and a schedule for the upcoming games. Sent out through the official NFL Twitter and Facebook accounts, the picture was a quick hit with 377 Favorites, 655 Retweets, 1154 Shares, and 5120 Likes (at the time of writing this post ~5:00 eastern). The full infographic can be viewed here.
It was good to see a high-profile league finding a place for infographics in promoting some of their most iconic games of the year. Though it may sound like an odd pairing, inforgaphics are a naturally fit with the holidays. They allow brands to communicate important facts and numbers in a digestible yet festive manner. Kudos to the NFL.
This very nice inforgaphic comes from ECAL, an online calendar marketing system. The inforgaphic does a great job summing up some of the key trends, challenges, and opportunities of marketing sports in a digital world. A couple of key points to pull out of the infographic are the fact that social media space is highly fragmented, thus interconnectedness is important; sports and entertainment are merging, so community-based marketing initiatives are key; and that purchase decisions have become quicker and put a higher emphasis on recommendations from friends and blogs. The number that really stood out to me were that the average smartphone user checks their phone 150 times a day.
About Matt Leap
I'm a Senior marketing student at Champlain College in Burlington, VT. Originally from the Albany area of New York, I'm a passionate New York sports fan. I combine my love of sports with a focus on technology. I'm a numbers guy' with a mind for stats and figures. Professionally, I focus on marketing in digital spaces. I specialized in digital analytics, search engine optimization (SEO), and search engine marketing (SEM).
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