Last weekend was a big playoff game in my hometown of Pittsburgh. The Steelers played the Broncos in Denver. The Steelers were missing some key players from injuries sustained in the Wild Card Game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Our wide receiver, Antonio Brown, was in concussion protocol due to a suspension worthy hit by linebacker Vontaze Burfict, and our running back, DeAngelo Williams, was out with a right foot injury. Thankfully, Ben Roethlisberger played even with torn ligaments in his throwing shoulder and a sprained AC joint sustained by none other than Burfict. You might be surprised that I can rattle all of this off… being a woman and all. But I’m not so special. I’m part of the 41% of women sports fans in the US. I like to refer to this growing segment as “Sports Fematics.” I’m talking about the reality that women are actively engaged, informed, and vocal about their favorite teams, whether it’s the NFL, NHL, MLB, NBA or NCAA. We are seriously loyal to our favorite teams – wearing licensed merchandise, calling sports talk shows, and posting on Facebook before, during, and after the game.

As I was watching the Steelers playoff game, I found it interesting that almost every single commercial was directed towards men. There was a complete alienation of the large, valuable fan base to which I proudly belong. Even a rental car commercial was dripping with testosterone. So why do marketers pay premium dollars for a message that only talks to just over half of the captive sports audience?

I jumped into the CivicScience InsightstoreTM to see if my hunch was correct – that there is great opportunity right under the noses of brand and sports franchise marketers to get a better return on their investment.

Sports Fematics are college educated, which may explain why NCAA Football and Basketball respectively index right behind the NFL and MLB as our favorite sports. The NHL follows closely behind. And 70% of Sports Fematics are either parents or grandparents. (Ahhh, maybe this is where the interest and education in sports begins. Our passion for sports is nurtured during the countless hours spent cheering for our children/grandchildren participating in soccer, baseball, basketball, swimming, wrestling, etc.)

Do you think beer is in the foreground of our minds? Here’s what might be – a reliable place to get our oil changed for all the miles we are racking up on our cars running from sporting event to sporting event and tournament to tournament. Also, you might want to sell ads for 1-800 flowers, vitamins, and KY Love to run alongside that Cialis commercial.

Here are a few more profile nuggets for you about Sports Fematics:

  • 29% try products before others.
  • 56% write positive reviews.
  • 61% tell others about our favorite products.
  • 34% are influenced by social media for purchases.
  • 26% are influenced by social media for clothing purchases specifically.
  • 46% use social media more than an hour each day!
  • 58% use coupons.

While male sports fans focus slightly more on exercising, we are much more concerned about the food we put into our bodies. (Attention Hello Fresh and Blue Apron – two birds, one stone. GNC are you seeing this?)


Annette Super Bowl advertising index

Also, the way I see it, auto brands should consider having a woman behind the wheel when placing an ad inside a sports broadcast. According to a recent article from Kelly Blue Book, “Studies show women have 80 percent of purchase power and make up about half of the car-buying market.” CivicScience research shows a higher favorability for some brands among Sports Fematics over the general population of adult women.

Annette Super Bowl advertising auto brands

And, remember how I said one thing that may be foreground on our minds is someone reliable to change our oil? It would be money well spent to put in a plug for your service department. According to the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) reports, in addition to women being more influential in car buying decisions, they are also taking over responsibility of maintenance and repair to the tune of 65% with some industry experts estimating the average being closer to 80%!

It seems quite clear that marketers need to take a broader look at the who and the how of their sports marketing efforts. The next time I get geared up to watch my favorite sports teams’ broadcasts, or the upcoming Super Bowl 50, I could become a new customer of someone’s brand … if they just take 30 seconds to talk to me.