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Fields and Fairways: College Football Fans are Saturday’s Stars

2 minute read | September 2018

In a nation of more than 325 million, where in the country will you find the most dedicated college football fans? Alabama is home to two of the top 10 local markets based on interest in college football.

Whether supporting the Alabama Crimson Tide or Auburn Tigers, residents of the greater Birmingham area earn bragging rights for the largest percentage of college football fans at a whopping 63% of the general adult population.Ohio State University’s home turf comes in second with 54% of the Columbus designated market area (DMA) being fans of college football. Alabama and Ohio both have multiple local markets among the top five; Tennessee has a large fan base as well, with Chattanooga and Knoxville ranked fifth and sixth, respectively.

College Football Fans are Seeing Green(s)

But fans of college football aren’t just loyal to the pigskin. Many are also are known to swing clubs, as 21% of them are golfers—that’s double what the general population reports for playing a round in the past year. College football fans are also willing to travel for golf, being twice as likely to take a golf or tennis vacation than the general population.

Spending time on the links isn’t the only thing that sets college football fans apart from others. They’re also more likely to have earned a college degree, have an annual household income of $100,000 or more, and to have served in the military.

When it comes to purchase decisions, college football fans are 84% more likely than the general public to buy sports event tickets and 77% more likely to spend money on sports logo apparel.

When it Comes to Dining Out, College Football Fans Come Out on Top

College football fans tend to dine out more than the general public. A sports bar is a popular choice, but Mexican, Chinese and pizza restaurants are most frequently visited by men and women who celebrate their Saturdays in the fall by cheering on their favorite collegiate sports teams.   

Sponsor Support

From stadium naming rights to official apparel providers, sponsors play a key role in the support of college football. The loyalty that fans have with their teams often carries over to brands that associate with the school. According to Nielsen Sports Sponsorlink, 84% of college football fans would consider a company’s brand, products or services for the first time when that company sponsors an event or sport they follow.

The 2018 college football season regular season runs through early December, with bowl games beginning Dec. 15. The championship is Monday, Jan. 7, 2019 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.

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