Having recently joined Comscore from a background steeped in sport, it’s an area close to my heart. Outside of the U.S., I believe that sport Web sites are a rather under-researched component of the sporting world compared to other industries, but there are countless opportunities for the sports industry to continue to grow worldwide. The industry needs to embrace the strength and measurement tools of the Internet. Sport content owners and blue chip brands need to better understand what is working and what isn’t working for them to compete in the quick moving environment of digital content and e-commerce.
Online sport content, e-commerce and social media/networking cover the engagement opportunity basics and have provided the Internet with innovations such as fantasy football branded record-breaking games such as EA’s FIFA 2010. But overall, the category has struggled to “keep up with the Joneses”…the “Joneses” being alternative digital entertainment such as music, video games and social media, and also in terms of measuring advertising effectiveness and engagement. Knowing that a solid research study on the consumption of online sport content would be compelling and tell a useful story, I set off to discover who is consuming sport content online -- globally and regionally -- and in two major sporting markets (the U.S. and the U.K.), and how brands are benefiting from investing in properties appropriate to their needs.
Comscore was an official partner of Sports Business 360 last month, where I had the opportunity to present these research findings to a crowd dedicated to the world of sport. As a growing category of online interest, I wanted to also share the findings with readers of our blog, providing a detailed look at the current state of the online sports industry worldwide. A snapshot of the report follows:
Consumption of Sports Content – a Global Overview
Leading Sports Destinations
Consumption of Sports Content – U.K. vs. U.S.
Sporting Events Audiences Correlates with Sponsors
Consumption of Sports Content on Mobile Internet
ConclusionsAn expanding, increasingly engaged audience bodes well for companies investing in online sports content. New opportunities and challenges are constantly emerging, from the developing international markets and mobile platform, to the tantalizing prospects of the 2010 World Cup and 2012 Olympics. While the potential is huge, I can’t over-communicate the importance of an in-depth understanding of the behavior of consumers of sports content. The composition of audiences and their online behavior patterns vary by site and location. Moreover, such is the dynamism of the online world, audiences and the ways they engage with content are constantly changing and, without proper measurement, can be hard to follow, let alone predict.
But as the Internet evolves, so do the tools to we use to understand it. With the announcement of Comscore MMX 360, the next generation of global digital audience measurement was unveiled, combining the best of both worlds of panel and server-side measurement, bringing the marketplace a comprehensive accounting of the complete digital media universe. Furthermore, with technological and connectivity improvements driving mobile Internet growth, Comscore’s partnership with the GSMA to create Mobile Media Metrics (MMM) represents a giant leap in our understanding of the mobile Internet – a crucial platform for sports content. With these developments, we can expect to see online advertising and sponsorship not only continue to grow, but to become increasingly effective, measurable, and accountable.
If you are interested in obtaining a copy of the full report, please visit our Presentation Library.