Sports fans' preference for mobile coverage growing

A recent survey from Motricity examined how mobile marketing has played a growing role in the life of today's sports fan, Mobile Marketer reports.

Specifically, 87 percent of respondents stated they use their smartphones to check on their favorite teams. This correlates with a recent comScore study which found that 20 percent of content viewed during the recent NCAA basketball tournament was accessed via smartphones and tablets, the news source adds. This proves that mobile is not just an accessory anymore, but rather it's becoming a second or third-screen viewing experience.

"Audiences are going mobile and often in ways that you do not expect," Kevin McGuire, vice president of product at Motricity, told the media outlet.

In terms of the future, respondents said they were most interested in an app that let them view the game from the players' perspective, providing a more interactive and personal look at their favorite teams.

"From a sports standpoint, audiences are going mobile, and it is challenging and forcing marketers to change the way they think about content," McGuire explained to the media outlet. "We are seeing mobile adoption start to take off across all types of mobile platforms via feature phones, smartphones and tablets."

Finally, in terms of usage, researchers found that sports fans prefer their news and information in "snack-sized bits," because they're typically using their devices in spurts throughout the day. This is where SMS can be effective, because text is an easy, informative and accessible way to reach fans without being difficult or time consuming.

It was also found that respondents sometimes checked sports information in less-than-appropriate places. Fifty-five percent of those polled said they checked their mobile device for sports updates during dinner, 50 percent did so while in the restroom, 42 percent did so during work, 23 percent while at the movies, 20 percent while on a date and 14 percent even checked their smartphone at church.

A recent Yahoo Sports study found similar results, revealing that sports fans are finding it difficult to wait until after events to check coverage because of mobile's easy accessibility. Researchers found that 22 percent of male fans checked a score while in class, 12 percent did so at weddings or at their child's school event and 4 percent looked for information during a funeral.