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Mobile Bounces into Sports Fans' Live Event Plans

Nearly 80% use mobile to make plans to attend live sporting events

Smartphones played a key role for FIFA World Cup followers earlier this summer, and recent research suggests that mobile phones aren’t just important for fans following from home—they’re also helpful tools for those attending a live sporting event.

According to data released in July 2014, based on a Q1 2014 study by Decision Fuel for the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence and InMobi, 44% of US mobile phone users planned to go to a live sporting event this year, with football, basketball and baseball the most popular.

Among this group, nearly eight in 10 said they made plans via their mobile phones to attend such events. Around one-quarter of respondents always used a mobile phone to make such arrangements, fully 14% turned to their phones for prepping very often, and 26% did so sometimes.

Of course, one needs a ticket to attend a live sporting event, and mobile played a role here, too. Fully 37% of sports fans said they bought their tickets via mobile phone or tablet. This trailed the most popular purchase method—traditional ticket stands at game time—by just 2 percentage points. Because of sports fans’ growing interest in buying tickets on mobile devices, IAB, InMobi and Decision Fuel urged ticket sellers to enable purchases through mobile sites or even ads.

February 2014 polling by Sporting News Media in conjunction with Kantar Media and SportBusiness Group found a relatively large percentage of US adult internet users accessing sports content on mobile at least weekly: 75%. Meanwhile, 36% checked out sports content via a mobile device at least once a day.

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