Just watching the Super Bowl on TV is no longer enough for many fans—and that’s especially true for Millennials, according to a study conducted earlier this month by BCW’s Fan Experience sports and entertainment specialty, along with research firm PSB.
Younger consumers want to feel a greater sense of involvement with the game, whether that consists of betting on the outcome, getting involved in an esports event related to the Super Bowl or controlling when and where they look at the ads that have become such a big part of the event.
Two-thirds (67 percent) of the Millennials surveyed said they’re more likely to bet on the Super Bowl than on any other sporting event, and 58 percent said that betting on the game is a factor in how long they keep watching. That’s a big change from the 29 percent of Boomers who say the Super Bowl is the sporting event on which they’re most likely to bet, with just 18 percent of them saying that gambling on the game affects how long they stay tuned in.
The esports options are also much bigger with younger audiences. Half of Millennials said that they would consider watching an esports event associated with the Super Bowl, while just 16 percent of Boomers said they’d be willing to do so.
When it comes to getting a sneak peek at Super Bowl ads, social media is assuming an ever-larger role, but even online, many viewers are moving in a new direction.
While 72 percent of fans turned to Facebook to get a look at the big game’s ads last year, only 58 percent say they plan to do so this year. Instagram is poised to move up from 24 percent of the online audience to 33 percent, but many younger viewers are heading to Snapchat.
Snapchat’s overall gains aren’t that large (up from 14 percent to 18 percent), but when the platform’s numbers are broken down by age, a trend becomes apparent. While literally, no Boomers said that they would look at Super Bowl ads on Snapchat, 28 percent of Millennials said they intended to.
"Engagement through social channels is clearly important to marketers, so brands must pay close attention to shifting behaviors and attitudes,” said chair of BCW Fan Experience Jason Teitler. “The rise of Instagram and Snapchat is not surprising among Millennials, but Facebook’s dip indicates fans of all ages are using multiple channels for their interactions around the big game.”
Despite any of the changes, however, the Super Bowl still has a powerful effect. Of those surveyed, 29 percent said that they would move their wedding date if it conflicted with their favorite team playing in the Super Bowl.