Sports Audio Listeners More Wealthy and Passionate


SiriusXM Media, GroupM, and Edison Research collaborated on the broadcaster’s inaugural Sports Audio Report, which explores the depth of sports fandom in the US and how radio, podcasts, and satellite content participates.

The extensive survey included over 3,500 Americans, aged 13 and older, who rate themselves at least a four on a ten-point scale of sports fandom. This robust dataset provides a wealth of insights for brands seeking to engage with an actively involved sports audience.

The survey highlights that approximately two-thirds of Americans identify as sports fans, translating to about 186 million people, but differs in level of engagement. One-third are casual followers, 20% are enthusiastic supporters, and 15% classify themselves as die-hard fans.

Sports fandom exhibits varying degrees of intensity across different demographic groups. While overall sports fans still predominantly skew white and male, the study found that younger, more diverse groups are driving the passion and consumption for sports content. Millennials and Gen Z, for instance, show a higher propensity for following soccer and combat sports such as boxing and MMA, compared to older generations.

On average, sports fans spend over six hours daily with audio content, of which more than 90 minutes are dedicated specifically to sports-related audio. This medium offers unique benefits: 66% of audio listeners tune in for distinctive perspectives, and 60% seek exclusive content that they cannot find elsewhere.

A significant 86% of listeners use audio to stay connected with their favorite teams or sports, 58% listen to be part of a fan community, and 56% engage with sports audio to maintain connections with friends, family, or colleagues.

Listeners of sports audio content tend to be bigger spenders on sports-related merchandise, with those tuning into podcasts spending an average of $321 annually, compared to $185 by sports video viewers.

The effectiveness of athlete endorsements is particularly pronounced in audio formats. Nearly two-thirds of sports fans appreciate hearing their favorite athletes in advertisements, with this sentiment markedly stronger among podcast listeners (81%) and SiriusXM subscribers (76%). Additionally, sports audio listeners are more likely to act on ads they hear, illustrating the medium’s potency in driving consumer behavior.

Jen Soch of GroupM emphasized the critical role of audio in sports marketing, noting the strong connections listeners form with content that aligns with their interests and passions. She stated, “Audio is a critical component of holistic media investments, and it needs to be a top consideration for brands looking to extend their reach and overall presence in sports.”


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