App Usage Before and During Game Time for NBA Viewers

May 25, 2022
By: Jean Ortiz-Luis

Summer is in the air, and with it comes hot dogs and MLB, outside barbecues, and of course, the NBA finals this June. Consumers in the U.S. are looking forward to the latest sports events and will be watching games, keeping up with stats on mobile, and sharing their excitement with peers in-person and virtually. March Madness brought a lot of brand buzz for those that advertised, like Wendy’s, who made a splash promoting deals involving their app. Moving on to the professional basketball tournament, brands and advertisers can up their engagement by advertising in-app and on mobile before and during game time, as this device will be used heavily by NBA viewers.    

Big brands are already prioritizing users on mobile — Google’s partnered with the NBA to launch the virtual Google Pixel Area in the NBA app. Users can use the app to access 3D virtual experiences of game arenas, create and share avatars in custom team apparel, and watch 3D recaps of games from data feeds that are continually updated. The app even hosts a trivia game during game halftimes, gamifying the watching experience for consumers and allowing them to join in on the fun. 

Looking to learn what else NBA Finals viewers will be doing while watching sports this year? Keep reading to discover more about how NBA viewers watch sports, how they will use mobile devices while watching, app preference related to watching sports, and their interest and preferences for ads during the game time. Read on for highlights from the Sports Survey!

Highlights from the Study

Broadcast TV is still the most popular way to watch sports for users in the U.S. who will watch the NBA Finals. — However, after the 67% of respondents who will watch sports on broadcast TV or cable, 38% will watch on a mobile device.

NBA viewers are watching sports regularly and using multiple devices to keep track of sports stats. — Over half of NBA viewers (56%) are watching sports at least every week, and most NBA viewers (68%) believe it’s important to keep up with sports games (by watching, looking up stats, reading about) on multiple devices.

Before game time, NBA Finals viewers will download mobile apps. — Viewers will consider downloading sports apps (54%), food delivery apps (37%), gaming apps (34%), and sports betting apps (29%) before watching sports.

NBA Finals viewers plan on purchasing food and drinks before watching sports. — Users watching the NBA finals will purchase food and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages before watching sports, and the majority of viewers (65%) will spend between $10-$50 on food/drinks for the game when watching at home.

A majority of NBA viewers (76%) will use mobile apps to order food and drinks before watching a game at home. — Before watching sports at home, NBA viewers will purchase food and drinks in-person at a store/restaurant (56%), through a delivery app (42%), pickup from a store/restaurant (38%), through QSR apps (21%), and alcohol delivery apps (12%). 

While watching sports, NBA viewers will look to their second-screen device to connect with peers and play mobile games. — During game time, NBA Finals viewers will use their mobile devices to text (59%), browse social media apps (55%), play mobile games (40%), and browse in sports apps (38%). 

58% of NBA viewers believe that smartphones are the go-to device to keep up with stats/replays/content from the game. — To stay up-to-date with content from sports, NBA viewers will use their smartphones (58%), Connected TV (20%), desktop or laptop (18%), and tablet (5%) devices. 

NBA Finals viewers are interested in ads aired during sports games and want to see funny ads. — 56% of respondents are interested in the ads aired during sports games, and NBA viewers prefer ads that are funny (78%), emotional/heartwarming (44%), celebrity cameo (19%), and political/social (16%). 

About the Study

The Sports Survey 2022 was distributed throughout the U.S. and garnered over 400 responses. It asked consumers ranging from 18 years old to over 65 about their behaviors, viewership frequency, and device usage related to sports events.

By Jean Ortiz-Luis
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