As the events of 2020 directly affected sports viewership across the board, brands and marketers can leverage a concurrent increase in social media usage to efficiently reach sports audiences outside of the games. Despite 2020’s declining NFL viewership, fans are increasingly active online, and social insights can uncover the best ways to access them.

Sports audiences are directly affected by world events—during times of duress, enthusiasm diminishes, and viewership can dip. This often rings true particularly during more frenzied presidential elections, like the 11% dip in 2016 and 10% dip in 2000. 2020 was a big election year–some might say the biggest–and considering the numerous other significant factors compounding sports fans’ ability to engage with their favorite teams last year, such as pandemic shutdowns and quarantines, 2020’s 7% dip could have been a lot deeper in a less digitally-prepared world.

And it’s not just football viewership that decreased—many other sports leagues experienced declines in audiences, some significantly worse, like the NBA’s 37% drop. 2020 ultimately upended sports fans’ lifestyles and viewing habits, and a general increase in cord-cutting has moved viewers out of their routines and into a new normal. While the approaching Super Bowl LV should help in re-invigorating NFL viewership, advertisers looking to target sports fans can strategically rely on a programmatic approach to reach sports fans whether watching the game or inhabiting another digital domain.

Digital usage has grown significantly in 2020, with streaming and social media receiving significant boosts in viewers, interaction, and subscribers. A boost in digital usage, particularly on social media platforms, gives social media data providers increased fan engagements, assisting in uncovering new opportunities for marketers while providing greater detail on sports audience habits – delivered across any digital channel.

We provide brands and advertisers with audiences and insights that target more efficiently and relevantly than basic demographic insights can provide. Passionate fans are constantly engaging with their favorite teams and brands, and we know who, why, and where. With the largest social media footprint of any data provider, we provide accurate navigation into the areas where NFL fans spend their most time, removing the guesswork from placement targeting while increasing campaign efficiency by honing in only on the more likely buyers.

Declining football viewership is temporary, but fans are forever. Whether ratings are up or down, we can help you optimize your NFL targeting. Super Bowl LV is primed to re-engage football fans, and we can help your brand be part of the fandom. Our audiences and insights span across all verticals, so whether you’re targeting NFL audiences, Pepsi audiences, or The Weeknd fans, we can make it happen. Get in touch with us today at audiences@affinityanswers.com to see how we can help.

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