NEW YORK, Nov. 18, 2013 — NASCAR is increasingly one of the top sports properties for engaging with the Gen Y consumer, and use of digital and social media among NASCAR Avid Fans of all ages continues its impressive growth. These are just two of the key findings from Taylor’s sixth annual Consumer Engagement Survey: NASCAR Fans.
The most powerful and relevant finding for current and prospective sponsors of NASCAR is the extraordinary appeal of the sport among Avid Fans in the 18-34 demographic highly coveted by marketers and advertisers. Nearly two-thirds of Avid Fans 18-34 say they are more interested in telling others about NASCAR than they were a year ago. These younger Avid Fans are also highly attuned to sponsors in the sport as they are nearly three-times more likely than Avid Fans overall to choose their favorite driver based on who the sponsor is.
“As brand marketers look for high impact platforms to engage the vital Gen Y consumer, they should take particular note of NASCAR’s appeal among Avid Fans in this age cohort,” said John Gilboy, Sr. Vice President, Business and Consumer Insights at Taylor. “This demographic also demonstrates an unusually strong tendency to share their passion for the sport with others.”
The Taylor survey revealed that these younger Avid Fans engage with the sport and consume NASCAR differently than other Avid Fans, with implications for potential sponsor brands which target this audience. For example, fifty-four percent of these fans also indicate they want to access NASCAR content on multiple devices when watching race action on TV.
As in previous years, the Taylor survey underscores the growing critical role of digital and social media to the NASCAR Avid Fan experience. Sixty-three percent of Avid Fans use Facebook to share NASCAR content. And among those who own a Tablet device or Smartphone, which was nearly all of the Avid Fans surveyed, 28 percent have a NASCAR app on their device. Media consumption among Avid Fans continue to show a shift to digital uncovered in previous years of the Taylor survey, with nearly 4 of 5 Avid Fans (79 percent) now obtaining their sports news and information online.
“The NASCAR Avid Fan is a digitally-savvy fan,” said Gilboy. “The data from this year’s survey reveal how Avid Fans have seamlessly woven digital and social media into every aspect of the NASCAR experience.”
As NASCAR recruits a new generation of drivers for the top levels of competition, the survey uncovered broad awareness of these new drivers among Avid Fans. Ninety percent of those surveyed said they were familiar with the new drivers in the Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series. However, loyalty to the sport’s veteran drivers remains strong. Indeed, a third of all Avid Fans (and 41 percent of those in the 18-34 segment) say they are even more likely to support the veteran drivers in the sport as they continue their racing careers. For sponsors this indicates that the “star power” of NASCAR’s top drivers remains highly attractive to Avid Fans.
An overwhelming majority of Avid Fans (77 percent) perceives the number of Sprint Cup races in the season as just right, and an additional 18 percent would welcome more races.
Facebook is by far the most popular social networking site among Avid Fans with 71 percent visiting it regularly; YouTube is second at 43 percent; Twitter is third at 26 percent.
NASCAR’s Gen Y Avid Fans love to share content; 91 percent of 18-34 year olds routinely share NASCAR content they come across.
Taylor annually conducts an independent study of media and brand consumption habits among the NASCAR Avid Fan base. The survey was completed in September 2013 with a national sample of 1,500 self-described Avid Fans of the sport. The participants answered questions on topics including sponsor loyalty, media consumption behavior and interest in the sport. Fielded by Toluna, a global research company, the survey was supplemented with trends research and analysis from Taylor’s Brand Counsel Group and motorsports practice team.
Taylor is a brand counselor and public relations partner to a select portfolio of the world’s leading consumer brands. Named “Consumer Agency of the Decade” by The Holmes Group, Taylor has partnered with the most influential corporate marketers, utilizing lifestyle, sports and entertainment platforms to drive consumer engagement. Founded in 1984, Taylor is headquartered in New York and has offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Charlotte. Taylor’s portfolio of client partners includes Diageo, P&G, 3M, Allstate, Coca-Cola, Capital One, Nestle, NASCAR, Nike, Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) and Taco Bell. Discover how “We’re Built Differently” at www.TaylorStrategy.com.
Ryan Mucatel, Managing Partner