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Research Now Poll Reveals Social Media a Fan Favorite in 2011 NCAA Tournament


March 29, 2011 - Plano, TX

This year's NCAA Tournament has provided a host of new ways for fans to engage. Mobile devices offer a more extensive array of streaming opportunities than before. Additionally, the NCAA, broadcast experts, and others have put an increased spotlight on combining social media to cover the tournament in real-time, investigated further in a recent poll conducted by Research Now.

Social Media Platforms as Part of NCAA Experience
According to the poll, conducted among 1,000 respondents aged 18 and over who are regular users of social media, 69% reported using social media as part of their NCAA tournament experience this year and of those, nearly half (47%) are using more than one site. 82% of those participating in a bracket pool indicate they are using one or more social media platforms to enhance their March Madness experience; whether it be participating in this year's Social Bracket on Facebook, watching clips of this year's tournament and coverage on YouTube, receiving updates from broadcast experts and participating schools via Twitter, or checking in to the tournament's Bracket Town via Foursquare. Facebook is most popular (57%) among single site users, while 34% rely on YouTube to enhance their tournament experience.

NCAA Tournament Bracket Participation
The survey also revealed that of those who filled out a bracket for this year's tournament, ESPN's Tournament Challenge was the most popular among participants with over half (51%) filling out their brackets via their online platform. Yahoo! Sports Tourney Pick 'Em, who offers $1 million to any fan who predicts a perfect bracket, is second most popular with 32% of participants utilizing this platform. Those participating in tournament brackets with their friends are more likely to engage in social media sites as part of their NCAA experience versus those participating in tournament brackets with family members or co-workers.

Watching the Games
Despite the increased prevalence in ability to stream games online and through mobile apps, only 12% of respondents are choosing to stream as their primary way to view the games, while a majority of fans are still watching the games on TV (88%). 37% say they plan to watch as many games as possible during this year's tournament, compared to 30%, who will watch a select few based on team preferences. And although men are more likely than women to watch the entire tournament (19% of all males surveyed), 12% of all females surveyed will also be watching every game.

Enjoying the Final Four
Less than one week remains until Final Four weekend, arguably the most anticipated part of the tournament. According to the survey, 44% say they most enjoy the Final Four weekend games, and 77% of those who are using social media are very (37%) or somewhat (40%) likely to purchase tickets to the Final Four tournament if their favorite team advances to Houston this year.

About the Poll
This Research Now poll was conducted online within the United States between March 24 and 25, 2011 among 1,000 adults aged 18 and over. Quotas were set for age, gender, ethnicity and region to bring them more into line with their actual proportions in the population. Respondents for this survey were selected from among social media users who have agreed to participate in online research surveys.

About Research Now
Research Now is the leading global online sampling and online data collection company. With over 6 million panelists in 38 countries worldwide, Research Now enables companies to listen to and interact with real consumers and business decision makers in order to make key business decisions. Research Now offers a full suite of data collection services, including social media sampling, and operates the Valued Opinions™ Panel and e-Rewards® Opinion Panels. The company has a multilingual staff located in 22 offices around the globe and has been recognized for four consecutive years as the industry leader in client satisfaction. Visit http://www.researchnow.com to learn more.

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