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Talking Baseball and the Younger Generation

Baseball season is upon us and though I am strictly an NHL gal, I understand the marketing potential of what many consider is America’s pastime.

Scarborough Sports Marketing just released a new study and infographic which shows that 49% of all American adults are Major League Baseball fans and 15% consider themselves “avid fans.”

What’s surprising is that 44% of Generation Y respondents said they were fans and 13% said they were an “avid fan.” Surprising, because we generally think of the 18-29 group as technology buffs who prefer Wii games to “we” games. But these numbers from Scarborough show that even though baseball card collecting isn’t as popular as it used to be, watching the games live and on TV still rules.

For a larger version of the infographic please click here for PDF.

Nearly 30% of Gen Y MLB Fans said they’d fork over up to $49 for a ticket to a game and 56% had shopped in a sporting goods store in the past three months.

Bill Nielsen, Vice President of Sales for Scarborough Sports Marketing says,

“Generation Y makes up 20% of the American adult population – that’s 46 million people. Major League Baseball, MLB teams and advertisers understand how critical it is to continue to reach out to this younger demographic in an effective and efficient way, to build long-term affinity for the sport.”

These stats are good news for all marketers, not just those who deal directly with the sport. Baseball themed promos and contests can work for almost any kind of business. Ask customers to virtually run around the bases collecting special deals at each stop. Clothing retailers can emphasis team colors and if you’re a book seller, dig up all the themed volumes and create a reading list for your customers.

Scarborough’s study shows that reaching the Gen Y MLB fan is easier than your average fan because they’re online and into mobile.

  • 54% more likely than all MLB Fans to have used a mobile device to read a newspaper in the past 30 days
  • 84% more likely to have listened to internet radio in the past 30 days
  • Gen Y MLB Fans are more than twice as likely as all MLB Fans to have visited Twitter in the past 30 days
  • 59% more likely to have read or contributed to a blog in the past 30 days

And check this out:

Gen Y MLB Fans are 131% more likely than all MLB Fans to have visited Hulu.com in the past 30 days and 65% more likely to have visited YouTube.com in the same time frame.

Gen Y fans can be found all over the US and around the world, but a few cities stand out. Milwaukee (76% of Gen Y are MLB fans); Philadelphia (70%); Hartford, C.T. (66%); St. Louis (66%) and Albany, N.Y. (62%).

Spring is here folks, that means it’s time to throw out the first baseball-themed marketing pitch!