Sports Sites Attract Women

Internet sports sites are becoming more important to female Web users, according to a survey by NPD Online Research.

NPD found that 36 percent of females that go online retrieve sports news from the Internet. Nearly half (46 percent) of those females polled that obtain sports information from the Internet said they get more sports information from the Internet than they did six months ago.

Most female Web users still turn to the television for their sports news, NPD found. Only 23 percent of the women that use the Internet for sports news say the Web is their primary source for what’s going on in the world of sports.

As with previous studies on online shopping, convenience drives consumers to the Internet, it was given as the most important reason females use the Internet for sports information. Seventeen percent of those females reported accessing a particular sports news Web site at least once a day. When at work, 34 percent confirmed that the Internet is the first place they turn to for breaking news; at home, 20 percent said they turn to the Web first.

“The Internet has made sports information readily available in varying levels of detail to accommodate the differing tastes of both the avid fan and the casual spectator,” said David Ow of NPD. “As females surf from site to site, they have the opportunity of being exposed to different forms of sports information.”

Sports information is available in advertisements, headlines, and links on the Internet, OW said. The popularity of online sports news opens new doors for Internet properties targeting women.

“Additional coverage of sports issues is something for women’s sites such as ivillage.com and women.com to consider,” Ow said. “Even females who are going to sports Web sites for detailed information may appreciate getting headline information and more in-depth stories elsewhere.”

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NPD found that females mirror males in what they want from sports news Web sites (see table). Interactive chat sessions ranked last with only 7 percent of the females reporting them as an important feature on a sports news site.

The survey found espn.com to be the most popular site , with 42 percent of the women surveyed reporting the visit the site, and 13 percent citing it as their main destination for sports news. Other popular sports sites in the survey included abcsports.com (visited by 33 percent), nfl.com (29 percent), msnbcsports.com (25 percent), foxsports.com (25 percent), nascar.com (18 percent) and CBS sportsline (17 percent).

About one-third of females visit personal pages or search and navigational guides for sports information, such as My Yahoo (19 percent), My Excite (13 percent), and Lycos Personal Guide (4 percent).

Females who use the Web for sports news tend to be between 25 and 44 years old, NPD found, with an average household income of $64,000. Most are married (68 percent) and have gone to college or have another type of higher education (64 percent).

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