Play Ball! Get Ready to Hit It Out of the Ballpark with Sports Fans

By Reggie Shah, Senior Director of Research and Insights, Audacy

Ahh, spring. The groundhog may have said it’s still weeks away, but the days are getting longer, the daffodils are pushing their way back into the garden – and MLB spring training is here!!!! 

With the first spring training games tomorrow, baseball season has begun. And the arrival of the boys of summer presents a great opportunity for brands and advertisers to step up to the plate and connect with sports fans right off the bat. 

We’re excited too – because Audacy is the Official Digital Audio and Podcast Partner of the MLB. We’re the exclusive play-by-play partner for over-the-air Radio for 13 teams, and all the games and team podcasts are available on our Audacy app. 

The sports fans listening to these programs can be a lucrative audience for savvy marketers. But not all sports fans are created equal – we’ve found that they tend to fall into three categories. 

Casual sports fans tend to tune into the big game, dialing into the excitement when their team reaches the finals. 

Core sports fans follow their favorite teams throughout the season, and catch games more regularly.

And then…

The hardcore sports fans. They’re the most passionate, and the most engaged. They’re watching the games on TV and streaming them on their phones. They’re following sports and athletes on social media. They’re buying team jerseys and league merch. They’re in the stands at the live games. They’re betting on events. And, of course, they’re listening to sports radio and podcasts – to hear that live action and those compelling conversations (and sports smack), the majority of them are tuning in to Audacy. 


baseball on tv
wrigley field
Sports talk show hosts
LA Dodgers hat
podcast host

Check out these striking facts about hardcore sports fans.

First base: they’re affluent.
The U.S. median annual income is $69,000. For all sports fans, that number is a little higher, at $73,000, but for hardcore sports fans, it jumps to $123,000. Nearly a third have a net worth of more than $1 million. Nearly 60% are sports bettors. They’re also highly likely to be college graduates and decision-makers at work. They’re pretty equally spread from left to right across the political spectrum. And they’re apt to be embarking on major changes over the next year. They’re twice as likely to be expecting a child. They’re 42% more likely to be buying a new house or condo. They’re 36% more likely to intend to buy a new car, and 83% plan to head to a dealer soon. 

Second base: they’re young.
The median age of a sports fan is 50, but the hardcore sports fan is only 42.

Third base: they love baseball.
Among all sports fans, 47% love Major League Baseball – but 92% of hardcore fans are also huge MLB fans. They go to at least two baseball games a year.

Safe at home: they’re listening to Audacy.
Audacy is the home of hardcore sports fans. They’re 29% more likely to be cord cutters, so they’re not watching TV. But they are spending time – more than two hours a day – listening to radio, and they’re twice as likely as other sports fans to be listening to podcasts. And they are nearly three times more likely to be on an Audacy station. In all, 59% of hardcore sports fans listen to Audacy weekly, and they are 16 times more likely to listen to Audacy sports stations. All their favorite teams are here. And so are their favorite podcast hosts – the local voices they have come to know and love, not simply as broadcasters, but as an integral part of the team. And they’re not channel surfing. They don’t want to miss a big moment, so they’re engaged through the last out and in the surrounding conversations, or as we call it “the game around the game” as well. 

That’s the power of partnering with baseball – and the place to find the fans, especially those captivated hardcore fans, is MLB’s Official Digital Audio and Podcast Partner, Audacy.

Want to talk more about reaching your target audience?

Let´s Talk

Nielsen Scarborough USA+ 2022 Release 1 Total (Dec 2020 – Apr 2022), Base: Total Adults 18+, Hardcore Sports Fan: Listens to Sports Radio, Watches/Streams Sports, Follows Sports on Social Media, Buys team/league apparel, Attends Professional Sporting Events, Average Sports Fan: Any Sports Related Activity

Photos courtesy of Wayne Randazzo and Mark Makela/Getty Images

Related Insights

Advertising Tips Audiences Use Their Voice: Valuable Shoppers are Connecting with Brands on Smart Speakers
May 21, 2024
shopper Advertising Tips Listen up for Sound Shopper Strategies!
April 23, 2024
Advertising Tips AM/FM Radio Leads the Pack, Digital Pureplays Lose Steam
April 16, 2024

Ready to Make Audio Work for Your Brand?