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The Tiger Woods Effect? Here’s Who’s Watching Golf in 2018

By now, you’ve probably heard the buzz: Tiger Woods is back on tour.

Long considered one of the best athletes ever to pick up a golf club, Woods is in the midst of a resurgence. He has two top-five finishes in nine starts this year, after struggling with injuries since 2014. PGA fans are taking notice.

While we can’t definitively credit Woods for the jump in viewership, there’s been a significant rise in the number of people tuning in to golf’s major tournaments this year. With the U.S. Open just days away, it’s a trend we expect to continue. So: Who are these new golf viewers of 2018?

Leveraging the Viant Advertising Cloud, Viant’s people-based platform that consists of more than 250 million registered users, we uncovered preferences of the audiences who tuned into major golf tournaments in 2018, after skipping them a year ago. Here’s what we found.

They’re social media savvy

This year’s new fans tend to be more active on social networks. In fact, they’re 22% more likely than returning viewers to be social media influencers who frequently post. They’re 28% more likely to be influenced by their friends’ posts.

In addition, new fans are 7% more likely to follow athletes and sports-related pages on social media.

They support other sports

Speaking of news fans’ sports leanings, we were able to deduce some interesting findings about their team sports of choice. New fans are 6% more likely to be interested in the NBA and NHL – two leagues with playoffs roughly coinciding with golf’s major tournaments – than returning fans.

Meanwhile, returning fans are 9% more likely to be interested in NASCAR and 4% more likely to follow college basketball.

Not just about Tiger

While Nike Golf sponsors Woods, fans new to this year’s major tournaments prefer Adidas. In fact, they’re 11% more likely than returning viewers to buy Adidas brand gear.

Show me the money

When it comes to spending their money, new fans are all about American Express. They’re 7% more likely to have an AmEx card, and 5% more likely to have a financial account with American Express than returning golf viewers.

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