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Who Uses the Top Soccer Apps? An Investigation

Team InMobi
10 min read
Posted on December 18, 2019

In the United States, who is so passionate about soccer (or football, as it’s known everywhere else) that they have the top soccer apps on their mobile devices even when the World Cup is years away? To find out, we turned to InMobi Pulse.

InMobi Pulse builds a holistic understanding of consumers across data sources ranging from the InMobi ad exchange, which reaches 1.6 billion users globally to opt-in sourced deterministic first-party carrier telco data. Using our high-quality, data sources, we can see what makes their customers tick.

For the soccer space, we looked at three categories of apps that soccer/football fans use:

  1. Apps that cover news, live scores and updates. Specifically, we looked at the soccer/football apps 365Scores, LiveScore, Football Live Scores, Telemundo Deportes, Univision Deportes, Fox Deportes and Forza Football. We also looked at theScore and the Bleacher Report, which cover a variety of sports-related topics including (but not limited to) soccer matches and soccer scores. And, to round things out here, we looked at the ESPN Soccer mobile website as well.
  2. The official apps from the major soccer leagues and associations like UEFA Champions League, La Liga, the English Premier League, Bundesliga, Major League Soccer and FIFA.
  3. Apps from the top soccer teams themselves. Here, we focused on apps from top favorite teams, as determined by Google Play and iOS App Store download figures. Instead of focusing on national teams, we analyzed the apps of popular European league teams such as Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea FC, the LA Galaxy and Juventus.

Overview of Our Findings:

  • Compared to app owners from other categories, a significant percentage of this audience is Hispanic/Latinx. This is also an overwhelmingly male audience.
  • This audience is primarily found in California and Texas, in addition to Florida and New York.
  • Most app owners are married homeowners with at least one child at home.
  • The age of app owners in this space can vary dramatically, with the vast majority in the 25 to 55 age range. Millennials are far more interested in soccer in the U.S. than Gen Z is — at least based on app ownership data.
  • Soccer fans are also big shoppers, frequently using e-commerce apps and mobile shopping websites.
  • While soccer fans are also often general sports fans, soccer app owners generally are quite different from those that have more general U.S.-focused sports apps on their mobile devices.

Who Has Soccer Scores and Updates Apps on their Mobile Devices?

Gender

For starters, this audience is overwhelmingly male. Within this space in particular, no app has an audience that’s less than three-fourths male.

Age

Ages can vary wildly though. For many apps, between 20% and 25% of app owners are between 26 and 35 years old, but it skews as high as around 30% or more for the Spanish-language sports apps (Univision Deportes, FOX Deportes and Telemundo Deportes).

Football Live Scores is an outlier here, with half of its app owners aged 56 and older. No app in this space has more than 7% of its app owners in the critical 18 to 25 age range though.

Income

In terms of income, Fox Deportes, Univision Deportes, LiveScore and 365Score have a slightly greater than average share of its audience making under $50,000 a year. On the opposite end of the spectrum here is theScore, ESPN Soccer and Forza Football.

Ethnicity

A number of apps in this category have a significant following among Hispanic audiences; in fact, the only dedicated soccer news app reviewed that doesn’t have a majority Latino audience is LiveScore. The majority of those with the Bleacher Report or theScore apps on their mobile devices are White, while a quarter of those who visit the ESPN Soccer mobile site are Asian or Pacific Islander by origin.

Audience Characteristics

Some of the top audience segments in this app category include family shoppers, entertainment enthusiasts, socialites, fashionistas, techies, mobile gamers, small business owners and news junkies, to name a few. Most app owners are also married homeowners with at least one child at home.

Location

More often than not, app owners are found in the most populous states in the country like California, Texas, Florida, New York and Illinois. Univision Deportes has a higher than average share of its audience in Arizona though. Top cities include Chicago, Houston and New York City.

Who Has The Official Apps of the Major Soccer Leagues on their Mobile Devices?

It’s one thing to have a general sports news app on a mobile device. What about people who are so passionate about the sport that they have a league’s app on their mobile device? How is this audience similar to and different from other kinds of football fans?

Gender

Yet again, this audience heavily skews male. Only the FIFA app has over a quarter of its app owner audience being female. For the others, well over 80% of those who have their app are male.

Age

Across the board, around 25% of app owners are between 46 and 55 years old. A major outlier is La Liga, the main soccer league in Spain; perhaps thanks to the star power on teams like FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, over 34% of those with the La Liga app on their mobile device are between 26 and 35. Bundesliga does comparatively well with the 36 to 45 set, while close to 20% of those with the FIFA app are between 56 and 65. The Premier League, the major league in the United Kingdom, is the only app that has over 10% of its U.S. app owners between 18 and 25.

Income

Interestingly enough, Bundesliga has, among the league apps studied, both the greatest share of app owners making under $75,000 a year (a group that does include retirees) and those making more than $250,000 a year. The Premier League app has a greater share of its audience in the $100,000 to $150,000 annual income range than any other league app. Well over 40% of those with the MLS app on their mobile device make between $50,000 and $100,000 a year.

Ethnicity

In the realm of league apps, the ethnic makeup of each consumer base differs. On one hand, both the UEFA Champions League app and the La Liga app have a majority Hispanic audience. Over half of those that have the apps for the Premier League, MLS and Bundesliga are White, while the FIFA app has a more mixed audience (43% White, 40% Hispanic).

Audience Characteristics and Interests

It’s hardly surprising to see this audience as sports fans. Most of the people with league apps on their mobile devices also have other sports apps like ESPN and NBC Sports.

But, people with these kinds of apps on their mobile devices can also be often classified as audio buffs, social media enthusiasts and online shoppers. This audience is also likely to download messaging apps like WhatsApp, social media apps like Twitter and music apps like Spotify.

Most of this audience is married, but La Liga app owners have the lowest rate of marriage at 55%. La Liga is also the only app whose owners are more likely to be renters as opposed to homeowners.

La Liga has a high percentage of app owners with at least one child in the home and with less than a high school diploma as well. In comparison, close to 37% of Bundesliga app owners in the U.S. have at least two children, and over 37% have a Bachelor’s degree or graduate degree.

Location

As with the sports news apps, those with the sports league apps on their mobile devices are often concentrated in California, Texas, New York and Florida. La Liga has a notable percentage of its audience in Maryland though, and MLS has a higher than average presence in Washington state. Mid-Atlantic states like New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia also have a higher-than-average share of app owners in this category.

Who Has The Official Apps of the Major Soccer/Football Teams on their Mobile Devices?

Gender

Yet again, it’s a male-heavy field. However, a third of those with the Juventus app and/or the Chelsea app on their mobile devices are female, as are 30% of those with the LA Galaxy app.

Age

While every app has at least 20% of its audience in the 26-35 age range, over 35% of those with the Real Madrid app on their mobile device fall in this group. Over 30% of those with the Juventus app are between 46 and 55, while over 29% of those with the LA Galaxy app are between 36 and 45 years old.

Income

Close to half of all Real Madrid app owners make less than $75,000 a year, while LA Galaxy has a higher share than average of app owners making more than $200,000 annually. Around a third of all Manchester United app owners make between $75,000 and $125,000 a year.

Ethnicity

Manchester United and Arsenal are the only team apps observed where over half of all app owners are White; they’re also the only Premier League teams included. Over 50% of those with the apps of Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, LA Galaxy and Juventus on their mobile devices are Hispanic. Over 25% of those with the Arsenal app, along with one in five Chelsea app owners, are Black/African-American.

Audience Characteristics and Interests

Messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are really popular with this cohort, as are social media and e-commerce apps. In fact, people with these team apps on their mobile devices are more likely to spend time on social media, using search engines or looking up the weather than they are checking sports scores or news. Common audience segments include audio buffs, social media enthusiasts, online shoppers and video buffs, to name a few.

For all apps, over half of app owners are married and homeowners with at least one child in the home. Over a third of those with the Manchester United and/or Chelsea app have at least some college, while a similar percentage of Real Madrid and FC Barcelona app owners have less than a high school diploma.

Location

Across these teams, California and Texas are by far the biggest states. Close to 25% of those with the Chelsea app live in these two places; app ownership for Juventus, Manchester United, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid has a similar breakdown. Arsenal app ownership is slightly more geographically distributed, while over 84% of those with the LA Galaxy app live in California, unsurprisingly.

How To Use This Data To Inform Your Mobile Ad Campaigns

These insights are interesting, but how can all of this information from InMobi Pulse be used to more intelligently allocate in-app and mobile ad spend? For starters, it’s important to note that there’s no such thing as one type of soccer fan. Fan bases and app ownership trends can vary greatly depending on the news source, team and/or league.

From a user acquisition perspective, it can be helpful to understand the extent to which the current user base aligns with an existing soccer-loving audience. For example, an existing sports all looking to launch a soccer property may want to focus on married Hispanic men over the age of 24 who live in California or Texas.

These insights can be enormously helpful from a monetization perspective. Considering that app owners in many other categories are mostly White, soccer app publishers may find value in highlighting how their audiences differ from who advertisers can reach elsewhere.

This kind of data can also help inform creatives as well. Advertisers may want to make sure that their ads feature people who look like their target audience and are featuring individuals doing activities that their users engage in too.

Curious to see more insights on soccer or any other industry segment? Reach out today to learn more about InMobi Pulse.

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