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Get Ready for March Tournament Action: College Basketball and Sports App Users

Team InMobi
6 min read
Posted on February 07, 2020

In the world of college basketball, no month looms larger than March, when 68 teams from across the country battle it out to see who is the best college basketball team in the nation. Close to 20 million people watched the 2019 championship game, and many more follow along throughout March and April by checking scores, watching highlights, streaming games and filling out their bracket through mobile apps.

But who specifically is turning to mobile when tournament time arrives in March and April? To find out more about college basketball fan behavior on mobile, we turned to InMobi’s intelligence solutions, which build a holistic understanding of consumers across data sources ranging from InMobi Exchange, which reaches 1.6 billion users globally, to permissively-sourced deterministic first-party telco data to stated feedback directly from the customers.

In particular, we looked at the following college basketball and sports properties:

  • NCAA March Madness Live app
  • ESPN Tournament Challenge app
  • NCAA mobile website and NCAA Sports mobile app
  • ESPN app and mobile website
  • theScore app and mobile website
  • CBS Sports mobile website and app

So what does the data reveal?

Mobile User Insights Revealed

Demographics:

  • This audience is overwhelmingly male. Across all properties, three-fourths or more of the audience for each one is male. Around 19% of NCAA March Madness app owners and 21% of ESPN Tournament Challenge app owners are female.
  • The 46-55 is the largest age range for most properties, followed by those in the 36-45 age range.
  • Only ESPN’s app and mobile website has more than 22% of its audience between the ages of 26 and 35. Close to 49% of NCAA Sports app owners are 56 years old or older.
  • This audience is majority White, with every app and mobile website having at least 50% or more of its category in this demographic segment.

Income:

  • Around a third of those with theScore app on their mobile device make $100,000 a year annually. Over 39% of ESPN Tournament Challenge app owners and close to 36% of CBS Sports app owners fall into the same income bracket.
  • ESPN’s mobile website over-indexes with people making $50,000 or less a year. Over 20% of NCAA’s mobile web visitors are in this income bracket.

Interests and Motivators:

  • This audience is largely interested in sports overall. Data on these app owners and mobile web visitors shows that they over-index with many other sports-related apps, including sports talk radio and league apps.
  • Most app owners observed spend an hour or more per session on average engaging with sports-related content on their mobile devices.
  • This audience also commonly over-indexes with social media app ownership. Many NCAA Sports app owners and NCAA mobile web visitors have the Twitter app on their mobile devices.

Location:

  • The NCAA March Madness app and the ESPN Tournament Challenge app are both very popular in the Midwest. Top states include Michigan, Ohio, Illinois and North Carolina, and top cities include Louisville, Cincinnati and Indianapolis. It makes sense that people who live near successful college basketball programs follow tournament action closely on their mobile devices.
  • People with major sports apps like theScore, CBS Sports and ESPN often live in or near major cities like Houston, Chicago and New York City.

How To Use This Data To Inform Your Mobile Strategy

These insights are interesting, but how can all of this information be used intelligently to further your business aims? For starters, it’s important to note that many mobile-centric college basketball fans are older White men who live in the Midwest. Brands looking to reach this audience would do well by running basketball-themed campaigns in March and April.

It’s critical to understand user interests as well. This audience is heavily interested in and focused on sports, and thus may not be interested in messaging that isn’t directly related to sports generally or college basketball specifically.

Looking to reach this audience come tournament time? Consider leveraging these InMobi Audiences segments:

  • Sports Enthusiasts
  • Basketball Fans
  • Basketball Arena Visitors
  • Sports Bar Visitors

Curious to see more insights? Reach out today to learn more.

Our Commitment to Data Privacy: What You Need to Know About This Data

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