Research has never been more essential; markets are continually changing, and reaching a specific market is becoming more difficult. It is essential that marketers understand who their audience is and how best to reach it. The rapidly changing society and increased competition for the entertainment dollar are forcing sports marketers to learn to use marketing research. As demographic changes occur, marketers will be required to adjust their strategies if they plan to survive.
Diversified marketing strategies appear to be the best formula to assure sports marketers of success inuring spectators and sponsors. One sport, indoor professional soccer, has received considerable attention as a result of some of the strategies used to appeal to the female fan. Among all professional team sports, indoor soccer has drawn the highest female audience. Consistently, they have drawn a fan base comprised of 50% female. Indoor soccer did not set out to target female fans.
Originally, it was a sport that allowed men and women to enter the arena on an equal footing. Neither gender had more experience with the sport, unlike baseball or football, nor have women learned soccer on an equal basis with men.
Females who attend an indoor game are as likely as males to have played or have knowledge of soccer. However, the history and current numbers of female fans has demonstrated one of the difficulties in trying to develop target audience segmentation; the female audience is not a homogeneous one.
Age, occupation, and family status are just three characteristics on which women vary. Typically, the appeal through advertising and promotions has been made toward women as part of the family demographic.
Thus, companies in categories such as grocery products, children’s clothing lines, and car companies looking to promote their minivans have utilized indoor soccer to reach women in major decision-making roles. However, companies focusing strictly on women have been more interested in sports such as tennis or ice skating that deliver audiences which are close to 80% female.