The old adage that gamers are gamers first and other hobbyists second may need to be re-evaluated, as the Consumer Electronics Association has found that sports fans — whose primary hobby is obviously not gaming — have actually driven the growth of the game industry more than non sports fans.
The CEA, which recently concluded its Sports & Technology Study, found that 60 percent of sports fans who own an HDTV also own a game console, compared to 43 percent of non-sports fans who report owning a console. In addition, the study found that 37 percent of sports fans who own an HDTV either plan to buy their first game system or upgrade their current console this year, compared to just 21 percent of all consumers.
The CEA’s study was conducted online with 2,278 U.S. adults during a one-week period in January. Results are weighted to reflect national online demographics, with the margin of sampling error was 2.1 percent.
One important factor in sports fans’ driving of the game industry is their penchant for home electronics.
“Sports fans in general own more consumer electronics products than non-fans, and video games are certainly no exception,” said Tim Herbert, CEA’s senior director of market research. “When it comes to specific sports, football is king, both on television and in sports video games.”
The study found basketball and baseball came in second and third, respectively, in sports video game popularity.
It’s not just a one-way street, however; sports videogames also appear to improve the chances of someone watching a real-life sporting event. Among consumers who own both an HDTV and a game console, 54 percent say sports video games make them more interested in watching sports on TV. “Nearly seven in 10 men surveyed said playing sports video games increases their interest in watching an actual sporting event,” said Ken Kerschbaumer, editorial director of the Sports Video Group.