In a mission to understand the fan, sports marketing agency TLA has partnered with neuromarketing and neuro analytics specialists Neuro-Insight to uncover what really drives fan behaviour and brand equity.
The research unpacks the implicit behaviour driving sporting fan decision-making and demonstrates how marketers can shape smarter strategies when using live sports media.
Sports fans make up one of the largest consumer audiences, with over 15 million Australians identifying themselves as being part of what is a lucrative market for marketers.
While the industry relies on claimed behavioural research to help better understand the audience and identify trigger points, Neuro-Insight looks to uncover the invisible driver of fan behaviour – the subconscious – where it reckons 95 per cent of decision-making takes place.
TLA said Neuro-Insight were able to provide unbiased and unsolicited responses and deep dive into the implicit behaviour of the fan versus traditional explicit metrics.
At the explicit level, TLA said they were unable to measure the strength and degree of the fans potential impact.
These articulations are not new and are already synonymous with being a sports fan, whereas when utilising implicit methodology, TLA said it was able to tap into the true subconscious associations, unlocking an engrained memory network that it has otherwise been blind to.
According to TLA, it’s insights into the subconscious has allowed the company to better understand its audience, the fan and tap into one of the strongest consumer memory networks which are nurtured over a lifetime and reinforced during the weekly game.
Ultimately, the research found that if brands are not advertising within live sport, they are missing an opportunity to truly maximise the effectiveness of their campaigns and to reinforce their brand communication.
When brands embed themselves into the fabric of the game, it increases their likelihood of joining the rich network of fan associations, where equity of attribution begins, according to the study.
Mark Pejic, global head of media at TLA, said the fan community underpins the company’s business model.
“By developing a more intrinsic understanding of the fan, this research allows us to better understand what drives their behaviour and enables our business to shape smarter communication strategies for our clients and products,” he said.
“The research demonstrates that the brain is more receptive to messages embedded in-game. We know from our last study with Neuro-Insight that advertising in live sport is at least 12 per cent more effective than a TVC alone.
“Therefore, when brands advertise weekly in-game, it unlocks an open gateway for brands to join, maintain and embed onto the fertile fan memory network.”
Casey Kudrenko, senior analyst at Neuro-Insight, said: “In continuing to work with TLA, we were challenged to dig deeper into the nuances of sport and the opportunities available to those increasing their proximity to this already proven, highly receptive territory.
“With this latest research, we have gained rich insight into the fan association network, unlocking implicit association that has otherwise remained hidden when it comes to observed behaviour.
“This research offers a new perspective on the intangible distinctiveness of sport and encourages brands to embed themselves within the rich territory of implicit associations.”
You can check out the research in full here.
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