Understanding the High School Sporting Event Audience

As an advertiser, you want as many people to see your messaging as possible. From billboards to commercials, only the most prominent locations and times will do! Well, if that’s the case, have you considered tapping into the high school sports world yet?

According to a survey conducted by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), during the 2009-10 school year, approximately 336 million fans attended high school regular-season and playoff games in football and girls and boys basketball. That’s more than two-and-a-half times the 133 million spectators who attended events in those sports at the college and professional levels combined, and the number is expected to increase over time.

While the sheer number of consumers is impressive, what makes this captive audience truly unique is its makeup: teens and tweens, men and women. Unlike professional sporting events, attendance is split between men and women as proud parents come to support their children.

It has become obvious that high school sporting events open a gateway for advertisers to reach families with children that other advertising opportunities simply do not allow for.

Ready to learn more about the high school sporting event audience? Read on!

Teens and Tweens Take Control of Spending

From athletes to swooning admirers, high school sporting events are filled to the brim with high school and middle school students. This audience’s buying power has increased exponentially over the past few decades with influence over billions of dollars in spending each year. According to FutureOfChildren.org, “In 2002, U.S. four- to twelve-year-olds spent $30 billion.American twelve- to seventeen-year-olds spent $112.5 billion in 2003. In 2003, 33 million U.S. teens aged twelve to nineteen each spent about $103 a week.”

Teens and tweens in most households control many family decisions; from vacation locations to dinnertime meals, the power adolescents have over the household purse strings these days has made the youth market a highly desirable one for a wide variety of businesses. In fact, FutureOfChildren.org states, “Experts estimate that two- to fourteen-year-olds have sway over $500 billon a year in household purchasing. Thus, to influence youth is to influence the entire family’s buying decisions.”

Moms and Dads Play Big Roles, Too
What no professional sporting event could offer advertisers is high school sporting events’ ability to gather women in one place. Like the youth category, women are taking a bigger role in controlling household income. Women are earning, spending and influencing spending at a greater rate than ever before, accounting for $7 trillion in consumer and business spending in the U.S., according to MediaPost.

While it may be presumed the man of the house makes decisions regarding electronics and vehicles, the times are changing. MediaPost points out that 68 percent of new car purchase decisions are made by women, the same women who influenced $90 billion of consumer electronic purchases in 2007.

But don’t rule out fathers just yet. The other half of doting parents filling the stands at sporting events are young dads who, according to the Microsoft Advertising Community Blog, spend more money than mom. “Young fathers spend $400 a month on media, $100 more than young moms.” More importantly, half of young dads are brand loyal: “50 percent consider themselves loyal to a particular brand within the auto and tech categories.”

What does this mean for your brand? Well, if you are advertising at high school sporting events, it means your brand can earn the trust of moms and dads alike. About 93 percent of consumers will be more loyal to a company that participates in corporate social responsibility and would be more likely to switch to brands that support their community in ways like school sponsorship.

Are you ready to get started advertising to teens, tweens, moms and dads? Contact us today to talk about your options.