Sports-savvy consumers have a higher uptake of technology, making them very attractive to both consumer technology and packaged goods companies, according to a new Report by Forrester Research B.V. (Nasdaq: FORR). Firms seeking to sell or exploit technology or the Net will target
sports-savvy consumers and strike marketing alliances with sports brands.

“Lovers and haters of sports are equally divided in Europe but the degree to which consumers like or dislike sports varies strongly,” said Forrester Technographics® Analyst Edwin van der Harst. “At first glance, sports and technology seem two different worlds. But our analysis shows that the two are related: Sports-savvy consumers also tend to be more interested in technology, and are technology optimists who go online more. The correlation between sports-savvy consumers and technology optimism results in higher product ownership for members of the sports-savvy segments, demonstrated by PC ownership and online behavior as well as by early product adoption and entertainment-led activities.”

Forrester analyzed consumer attitudes toward sports in the seven largest Western European countries and found that four key drivers determine consumer interest in sports: sports information, sports participation, sports merchandise, and TV viewing. A cluster analysis of respondents from Forrester’s Consumer Technographics Q4 2000 Europe Benchmark Study produced five distinct consumer
segments — Sports Fans, Live Life To The Maxers, Healthy High-Flyers, Sports Loathers, and Passive Have-nots. The Sports Fans represent the stereotypical sports-mad consumers. Live Life To The Maxers have open and busy lifestyles and want to experience life as much as they can; they are the most likely to attend sporting events. Healthy High-Flyers couple a competitive, high-performing work ethos with a strong drive to win at sports. Sports Loathers have no affinity with sports at all, and the Passive
Have-nots, who represent one-fifth of the European population, are typically are middle-aged, lower income women who love watching TV.

“Consumers in each of the sports segments have distinct preferences when undertaking online activities and therefore present different marketing opportunites for brand marketers,” added William Reeve, group director of European Data Products. “For instance, consumer goods companies seeking to market or exploit new technologies can use sports in one of three ways. First, they can use behind-the-scenes marketing as an effective technology selling tool and target sports-savvy consumers with contextual advertising and direct marketing based on sports interest and partnerships with portals. Then, they can match sports and technology to create powerful marketing alliances. Finally, they can launch sports-specific technology products. The popularity of both sports and the use of new media generates a demand for new products such as sports alert services on SMS and WAP, sports package deals marketed via the Internet only, and antisports alerts for Sports Loathers.”

The Report, “Sports And Technology United,” is part of Forrester’s Consumer Technographics Q4 2000 Europe Benchmark Study, for which Forrester analyzed the behavior of 26,700 Europeans in 13 Western European markets. Forrester’s Technographics Europe Benchmark program provides continuous quantitative information about consumer attitudes toward, and adoption of, technology. By applying a unique segmentation model to survey data from both Internet users and offline consumers, Technographics offers an innovative way of developing marketing plans for any technology-based product or service.