In the build-up to the Winter Olympics, a lot of the media attention has focused on the social and political issues in Russia, the money and corruption behind the Olympic’s construction, and even the condition of the hotel rooms encountered by media and tourists. Still, when the competitive events get underway tonight, most Americans will worry only about the games themselves. But who will tune in?
Over the past two weeks, we surveyed 4,339 American consumers over the age of 13 to gauge how closely they plan to follow the Winter Olympics. In all, 47% of respondents say they will follow the Games at least “somewhat closely.” However, unlike most sporting events that tend to draw a more male-dominated viewership, NBC can expect an unusually-balanced audience of men and women. An even 10% of both men and women say they will follow the Games “very closely, while an identical 37% will follow “somewhat closely.” This bodes well for a diverse set of advertisers.
Even the age distribution is unusually well balanced. We see only a slight increase of “Very Likely” viewers among people aged 45 to 64 (12% versus an average of 10%) and a decrease of likely viewers among those aged 25 to 29 (37% versus 47%). If we have to split hairs, consumers aged 55 to 64 are the most likely to follow the games at least “somewhat” at 57%. Still for, any sporting event, TV show, movie, or other media event, it’s uncommon for us to see such consistent spread across age groups.
One minor divergence can be found among the race of the respondents. Overall, Hispanics are far less likely to follow the games, at only 32% and African-Americans only slightly higher than that at 35%. Those are still very large groups in general, however.
Beyond that, you’d have to get pretty far into the weeds to find any major differences between likely Olympics viewers and non-viewers. Some of the may even be down-right bizarre. But here are couple things we found:
– Naturally, Olympic viewers are much more likely to watch sports on TV, over 230% more likely in fact.
– Also logical but significant is that Olympic viewers are 4X more likely than non-viewers to name the NHL as their favorite US pro sports league
– Olympic viewers are 20% more likely to prefer Greek Yogurt over Regular Yogurt (What?)
– Good news for Betty Crocker: Olympic viewers are 38% more likely than non-viewers to say that they “love to bake”
– Olympic viewers are 8 ½ times more likely to say the follow American Idol “Very Closely” presenting quite a conundrum for them tonight.
– 32% of Olympic viewers list “Classic Rock” as their favorite genre of music, versus only 19% of non-viewers. Non-viewers are 3X more likely to like Rap/Hip-Hop and 10% more likely to prefer Country…counter-intuitive, yes.
– Olympic viewers are 10% more likely than non-viewers to drink energy drinks like Red Bull, one of snowboarding phenom Shaun White’s biggest sponsors.
– Olympic viewers are more than 2.5X more likely to be “Very Concerned” about the quality of public transportation where they live. Apparently, they should count their blessing they don’t live in Sochi.
– The Olympics might not be the best advertising venue for job search websites. Olympic viewers are 33% more likely to say they are “Very Happy” with their current job.
OK. There are a few fun facts to share around the water cooler over the next couple weeks. Go USA!