Research Now and iPinion, LLC research reveals fans rely on streaming games online and downloading apps to stay up to date on this year’s March Madness tournament
As the famous saying goes, “we’re not in Kansas anymore;” and as number two seed Kansas gears up to face number one seed Kentucky, followers of the 2012 NCAA Tournament are not limited to watching from their TV anymore. Mobile apps allow fans to watch games, review stats, and track brackets and favorite teams in real-time; and while these options are increasingly gaining popularity among consumers, fans still opt to take the more traditional approach of following the tournament on TV, as investigated further in a recent study conducted by Research Now in collaboration with iPinion, LLC. The study utilizes panel and social media sample, as well as social media listening to obtain insights into attitudes about, and engagement with, the 2012 NCAA tournament.
Watching the Tournament
According to the survey, 80% of survey respondents acknowledged they are aware of the NCAA Tournament. Among those following March Madness, the majority of respondents reported they would be watching the tournament primarily in the evening. And while three-fourths of viewers reported they would watch the tournament “over the air” on TV, the study also found that streaming online (25%), and checking scores and updates on their mobile device or tablet (25%), were popular methods of following the tournament as well. Furthermore, approximately 10% reported they would download an app to follow the tournament; among those downloading an app, ESPN ScoreCenter, CBS Sports and ESPN Bracket Bound are most popular.
The majority of respondents reported that games would be broadcast on an employer provided TV (located in a break room or lobby). Furthermore, less than one-third reported their employer would be blocking any streaming of the NCAA Tournament via their company’s Internet.
Other findings of the survey include:
- The biggest driver in selecting bracket teams is “my gut feeling,” followed by “ranking.”
- ESPN’s Tournament Challenge is the most popular bracket manager among respondents, followed by CBS’ Bracket Challenge and Yahoo! Sports’ Tourney Pick ‘Em.
- The most popular social media sites for following the tournament are Facebook (primarily used for posting/sharing opinions and following specific schools) and YouTube (primarily used for watching clips of the games).
- Respondents report that the most exciting round of the tournament is the Final Four.
What’s the Buzz Among Social Media Users?
It’s no big surprise that chatter about March Madness increases 54 fold in the month of March. And while there is a lot for avid fans to complain about following the tournaments’ surprises and upsets, the majority of chatter surrounding the tournament is relatively positive. Through social media listening, additional research shows that most of the tournament chatter includes positive words such as “love,” “fun,” “enjoy” and “excite.”
Additional social media research reveals that:
- In line with survey results, there is more excitement in social media surrounding the Final Four (52%) when compared to the Sweet Sixteen (36%) and Elite Eight (12%). Furthermore, conversations are most positive for the Final Four and most negative for the Elite Eight.
- A majority of fans will be watching the games on TV, but a number of fans plan to install apps on their iPad and stream games (a few will do this on their iPhone, too).
- The NBA, Victoria’s Secret, Walmart and Nike are among the most talked about brands when discussing March Madness. Furthermore, Nike, Adidas and Air Jordan are among the most talked about sports brands.
- Some of the most positively talked about topics during the tournament are contests, coupons and giveaways.
- There is an unsurprising rise in popularity of fast food restaurants during March Madness, with eateries including Burger King, McDonald’s and Taco Bell being most popular.
As anyone who participates in filling out a bracket would know, a lot of time and careful consideration goes into this process – but is it worth it? According to one Facebook user, “the odds of picking a perfect march madness bracket r 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 how do you say that number?” These odds are supported by a Twitter user who says, “perfect March Madness bracket are 1 in 9223372036854775808.” A blogger further adds that a New Jersey lottery worth a $12 million jackpot has 1 in 728 million odds. However, some of today’s most famous and influential people (take President Obama for instance) fill out a bracket every year.
Research Now conducted this survey in collaboration with iPinion, LLC. The survey was conducted online within the United States between March 15 and 21, 2012 among 2903 adults aged 18 to 44. Quotas were set to ensure an even gender split. 994 respondents were invited to participate from Research Now’s “by-invitation-only” consumer research panel. 975 respondents were invited to participate from among social media users who have agreed to participate in online research surveys. In Addition, 49 respondents were recruited through Research Now’s Mobile panel. Collaborator iPinion, provided 557 respondents via traditional recruit, and 328 via a Mobile App.
Additional social media data was collected between February 1 and March 20, 2012. From the verbatims collected: 80% of those commenting and/or posting content were male; 78% were between the ages of 18 and 24; and 87% were from the United States.
About Research Now
Research Now, an e-Rewards company, is the leading global online sampling and online data collection company. With over 6 million panelists in 38 countries worldwide, Research Now enables companies to listen to and interact with real consumers and business decision makers in order to make key business decisions. Research Now offers a full suite of data collection services, including social media sampling, and operates the Valued Opinions™ Panels and e-Rewards® Opinion Panels. The company has multilingual staff located in 24 offices around the globe and has been recognized for four consecutive years as the industry leader in client satisfaction.
About iPinion, LLC
iPinion LLC is a leading enterprise-grade smartphone and tablet market research solutions provider. iPinion delivers unprecedented data collection capabilities for consumer insights and market research in the mobile world. iPinion is available as native apps for iOS (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch), Android and Blackberry. iPinion has zero download mobile research solutions using HTML 5 web apps for smartphones and html versions for feature phones. With miVue, iPinion elegantly combines the behavioral data with survey data for holistic insights. Visit www.ipinionsurveys.com to learn more.
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Manager, Public Relations – Research Now
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Steve von Bevern
SVP, Client Development and Services – iPinion, LLC
+1 612 801 1920