Sports fans are among the most ardent of loyalists. Brands that can tap into that devotion have a greater likelihood of winning over and retaining these advocates. A sure way to achieve this is by gaining a deeper understanding of sports fans. Recognizing that opportunity, Nielsen combined several of its data sources to produce a new product for in-depth, fan-related insights.
Nielsen Sports has just announced the launch of a platform called Nielsen Fan Insights to provide, as the press release noted, "sports properties, sponsor brands, and event organizers with a comprehensive view of fans' interests, media consumption behaviors, brand attitudes, and purchasing habits from around the world." The service allows Nielsen's customers to go directly into a dashboard to mine data for insights into the many aspects of fandom.
Nielsen Fan Insights combines four separate sets of data — each of which offers unique viewpoints of sports fan — into one useful tool:
1. Nielsen Homescan household panel, which continually tracks purchases across consumer segments
2. Nielsen Scarborough, which asks people a range of media consumption, purchasing, and attitudes for 210 markets on the U.S. local level
3. Nielsen Winning Brands, which measures a brand's awareness, consideration, and attitude before, during, and after an ad or sponsorship exposure
4. Nielsen Global Fan Survey, which is a new monthly global tracking survey of sports fans that will eventually cover over 30 countries
A brand can use the data to drill down to the fans of a particular league or even a team to better understand their demographic and attitudinal profiles, purchase preferences, and brand awareness. Additionally, global brands can use the data to get insight into the differences from country to country and across different age groups. So, a credit card company sponsoring a tennis event, for instance, can look at a before-and-after activation of a campaign to assess whether it helped to achieve their brand's KPIs — from awareness, to brand affection, to transactions — among tennis fans.
For sports teams and leagues that are trying to sell sponsorships, the platform enables them to target prospective advertisers, as well as show proof of performance after a campaign. It is also valuable for league expansion efforts, discovering global advertiser interest and new fan bases, and ascertaining overall fan interest by country. The NBA, for example, could view fan interest in the U.S, and also review fan interest in China after the exhibition and pre-season games held there.
In crafting new ways to build a fan base, teams can use the insights on fan interests to improve the audience experience. For example, a team that learns that its fan base enjoys a certain type of music could book an appropriate band for a halftime or post-game show to draw in viewers.
Currently, the platform covers China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Spain, the U.S., and the UK. Brazil, Russia, and South Korea will come online at the end of 2019, along with an additional 20-plus countries in 2020. Future efforts will also include linking other datasets to specific athletes, for example. Nielsen's Thought Leadership division will release further insights in the coming months.
This is the first time Nielsen has stitched together different systems for sports. With the variety of Nielsen datasets available, the potential for a range of combinations for networks, advertisers, and genres, appears tantalizingly large and flexible.
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