Play Ball with Radio

Author: Annette Malave, SVP/Insights, RAB

The role that sports plays in the lives of Americans became magnified during 2020. Whether it was the dribbling of a basketball on a court, the crack of a bat or the sounds from a huddle – people needed to watch and experience sports.

Sports fans are passionate, and they are engaged in the team or player they are following. They are emotionally connected – just like they are with radio.

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Reaching the New Outdoors Consumer

Author: Annette Malave, SVP/Insights, RAB

Over the past year, shifts in consumer behaviors have impacted every industry, and some have created seismic changes, as noted in healthcare and retail. What is more interesting, is that consumers also found new methods of entertainment and recreation. Namely, many discovered the great outdoors.

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The Big Game and Radio

The practice of listening to the home town team on the radio and watching the game on TV is as alive and well today as it ever was. The connection formed between the radio broadcaster and the listener is extraordinary! This is a trusting relationship only radio can provide. This connection can drive sales and help to build your brand.

The big game is a big deal for radio stations and it is here next weekend! And you can bet everyone across the country will be tuning in to hear the Pats and Eagles play-by-play. Westwood One will cover the game nationally. Listeners coast-to-coast can hear the game called by their favorite announcers including Kevin Harlan and Boomer Esiason, and this year also includes Hall of Fame reporter Ed Werder. Local announcers in Boston and Philadelphia include WBZ’s Bob Socci and Scott Zolak, and WIP’s Merrill Reese and Mike Quick.

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Reaching Sports Fans with Radio

Sports fans are amazing!  They will go to an event to watch “their” team play – whether it is 102 degrees or 2 degrees – they are there.  They identify with their teams and according to research on the subject, one professor of psychological and brain sciences was quoted as saying: “A huge part of who they are, where they derive a lot of their positive and negative affect, is from what their team is doing.”

Sports fans are very similar to radio listeners.  Both groups have strong emotional connections with the person or persons they are tuned in to.  So when you combine a sports fan that is also an avid radio listener, it’s a powerful combination.

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There’s Something for Every Ear

“I’m a purple person.”  “I prefer basic black.”  “I like to wear bold colors.”  People have distinctive tastes and preferences when it comes to clothing or accessories.  These preferences are personal, similar to that of radio listening, and similarly, music choice.

A researcher at Heriot-Watt University in the U.K. studied over 36,000 participants’ ratings of 104 music styles and found a direct correlation to their personalities.  The study showed that heavy metal music fans are normally calm and comfortable around others, while classical music lovers are often shy and creative.  Hard-working and outgoing would be words to describe pop and country music listeners.   The relationship between radio and the listener has always been an emotional one but what they listen to is not just personal, it is an extension of who they are.

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Sports Radio Knocks It Out
of the Park for Fans

“There’s nothing like listening to my Red Sox on the radio outdoors or in the car.”

 “I listen to play- by-play more than watch games on TV since I do not have cable anymore.”

 “I enjoy the freedom of listening to the radio for sports programs as it allows me the freedom to be outside working on various projects.”

 “Announcers are funny. Commercials seem less intrusive and I don’t mind the interruption as much.”

These are just a few of the quotes we grabbed from an informal online survey regarding Sports Radio listening habits — sports radio simply works and works hard for those that are passionate about sports.  It’s not just the “big” games, it’s every game.  It’s the conversation, it’s the debate, it’s the voices, it’s the surprise, delight, defeat, and it’s simply the passion for sports that fuels the beast.

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of the Park for Fans”