Let The Games Begin: Preferred Brands of Sports Fans


With the games happening in Rio, it seems as if the entire world has become sports fans. An increase in sports fandom can help brands looking for a competitive advantage by aligning with this passionate audience. Which brands stand to gain from this special time in sport? Using the unique ability of E-Score® Brand to target fans of the major sports leagues, we took a look at which brands sports fans “Prefer*” in several categories.




One of the most seamless crossovers of sports and industry is in apparel. The sports apparel industry is thriving, with long-established companies like Nike and relative newcomer Under Armour leading the way. Female sports fandom is increasing, and its impact on brands is already being felt. This impact is evident in that half of the list is made up of female-centric brands. Some of these brands like Michael Kors are incorporating more activewear into their lines. Others like Marc Jacobs and Coach could see consumer interest in an activewear line grow as well.


Alcoholic Beverages


Another obvious crossover into sports is the alcoholic beverage industry. Typically, beer/ cider brands dominate the conversation when it comes to the intersection of alcohol and sports. What is surprising is that two of our sports fans most “Preferred” beverages are liquor brands. Maker’s Mark (#4) and Jameson (#5) are not currently heavy sports sponsors, however, their presence on this list indicates an untapped opportunity.




The fitness industry is becoming an increasingly difficult place to gain traction and attention. For sports fans, alternatives to large gyms and fitness chains are becoming their “Preferred” workout options. Companies like Planet Fitness and Curves are leading the way by providing smaller, entertaining alternatives to established gyms like 24 Hour Fitness, which also makes our list. This trend of sports fans going with the new, exciting approach is at work on the diet and nutrition side of the industry as companies like Herbalife, with their small club model are “Preferred” to Jenny Craig.




Finance is another industry where sports fans are looking for new and innovative brands. This is evidenced on our list as two of the top five financial brands are online banking institutions. Brands like Capital One 360 and Ally Bank are increasingly “Preferred” as they are creating a new way of doing business in a slow-to-innovate industry. As newer brands, both could see a critical increase in brand equity and an uptick in customers by targeting sports fans, especially Millennials.



While most of the world is keeping up with the games in Rio, brands should be keeping up with the growing increase in sports fandom. As the base of fans grow, so do does the buying power of the sports fan. Brands that are more “Preferred” by sports fans are in position to take advantage of this growth. With E-Score Brand you can see consumer sentiments about your brand and your competitors. Discover which targets and verticals best align with your brand, and/or see which are worth attention to break into a market, or advance your current position.



Data taken from E-Score Brand. Survey was served to respondents age 13+ that identified as “Casual Fan” or “Avid Fan” of the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS, or PGA. Brands have a minimum 15% Awareness.

*”Preferred” is a metric created using our Premium E-Score Brand product by averaging the Brand Loyalty and Better Than Competitors scores of each brand. Our product allows you to combine attributes and demographics, customizing your research to derive the most effective data for your brand.



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