Thursday, December 11, 2008

Dissertation: The Psychography of FANatics

In my last post I wrote about our sports-talk radio station (99.9 fm - The Fan) and sports website ( In this dispatch I want to explain why sports is so important to Capitol Broadcasting Co., and it goes beyond my personal fandom. The Triangle is sports crazy! A professor of marketing might say this represents a significant psychographic of our community.

This fall Sporting News magazine ranked Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill as the 24th best sports market in America. That’s pretty remarkable considering we have only one major league team, the NHL Carolina Hurricanes. (And I’m obliged to plug our own Durham Bulls - the most famous and among the best attended minor league teams in the nation.) But the truly remarkable feature of our community is the three universities affiliated with the Atlantic Coast Conference. Three major institutions. Three major NCAA Division I sports programs - in one market.

The University of NC, Duke and NC State University enroll thousands of students, maintain strong alumni associations and are among North Carolina’s largest employers.

72,000 students are enrolled in the three universities that employ more than 80,000 people. Fold in the local membership of booster clubs and alumni associations and more than a quarter of a million people maintain strong associations with one of the three schools.

More than 1.7 million people will attend a college sporting event in the Triangle this year. That’s like relocating a mid-tier NFL, NBA and MLS franchise to the Raleigh-Durham market.

I repeat: The Triangle is sports crazy - a great sports market!

More evidence: We engaged the Raleigh-based communications firm French West Vaughan to measure ACC fanaticism. Like a sports anthropologist, FWV combed through myriad cultural relics, ie, the firm reviewed television viewership across ACC markets in the Southeast. The Triangle shows clear dominance in terms of household ratings. According to Nielsen research data, the year-over-year household ratings for ACC sports in the Triangle market outpace the ratings in Charlotte, Atlanta and Washington DC combined.

The affinity for college basketball in the Triangle is well known nationwide, but how does the fanaticism of RDU rivalries compare to local competition in other parts of the country? French West Vaughan examined Nielsen data for four big rivalry games in different regions, Raleigh-Durham, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Cincinnati. The Duke vs. UNC game pulled a 23.1 household rating in Raleigh-Durham. The next highest game measured was Cincinnati vs. Xavier with a 10.1 rating in Cincinnati. UCLA vs. USC carried a 2.2 rating in Los Angeles. In Atlanta, the GA Tech vs. UGA rivalry only received a 0.3 household rating.

Did I fail to mention: The Triangle is sports crazy!?! And Capitol has it covered: Radio - TV - Web - Mobile...with marketing opportunities across the entire platform. Shoot me an e-mail. I've got more info for you on our Sportsfan Marketing Group.