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Sports Fans Plug in to Share Games' Thrills and Agonies



Jim Bankoff
Chairman and CEO
Vox Media

eMarketer: What is the demographic of today’s sports fan?

Jim Bankoff: It is primarily male—not exclusively, but predominantly male. It’s adult, but it’s kind of young adult male—I’d say 25 through 42, and probably with a sweet spot around 25 through 34.

The audience is affluent, and importantly, very tech-savvy. These are folks who embrace technology. They are also kind of an influential crowd. They’re more apt to share things. They’re the type of audience that other people take their social cues from to find out what’s the cool new phone, or what’s the cool new restaurant, that kind of thing.

eMarketer: How do they behave in terms of social?

“The audience is affluent, and importantly, very tech-savvy.”

Bankoff: During the games, people are logging on to share that experience with other folks. [Note: SB Nation doesn’t stream games.] They’re increasingly doing it on mobile devices, but they’re also doing it on their laptops, and they are sharing the agony and the thrill of their team losing or winning, and all the comments that happen during that game. We facilitate that with technology to kind of make that experience on the second screen interesting and compelling.

We’ve developed technology that really lets people track as the game goes on. It scales, so we can handle tens of thousands of people following one another and sharing their thoughts and opinions.

“I'd say a good 25% of our folks are active on the second screen while they’re watching the game.”

eMarketer: While people are watching a game on TV, how many people are simultaneously using another screen?

Bankoff: I’d say a good 25% of our folks are active on the second screen while they’re watching the game. That number is growing pretty dramatically.

eMarketer: Are you offering advertisers a way to somehow synch their television ads with their online or their mobile ads?

Bankoff: What we’re actually finding is that the online experience is actually the more engaging one for the advertiser, because the user can actually take action as opposed to television, which gives you a message, but all you can really do is type in the URL and go to the website.

A longer version of this interview is available to eMarketer Total Access clients only. If you’d like to learn more about becoming a Total Access client, click here.

Check out today’s other articles, “Latest Benchmarks Prove Email Still an Effective Marketing Channel” and “Italy Posts Highest Internet User Growth in Europe.”

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