We “seeded” top automotive, fast food, home improvement, and sporting retailer brands based on the difference in whether NCAA Men’s Division I basketball tournament game attendees were likely to visit key retailers of interest before and after attending a game.
UberMedia’s team of data scientists analyzed mobile behavioral patterns of NCAA Men’s Division I basketball tournament game attendees to reveal their “location affinity,” the likelihood that game attendees would visit U.S. retail and restaurant chains. Our study included a sampling of brands (not all restaurants for example).
For the championship, we developed four key sectors to seed our brand bracket: automotive, fast food, home improvement, and sporting retailers. We seeded top brands in each sector based on the amount of U.S. locations the retailer has and the likelihood of game attendees to visit retailers of interest before and after attending a game. Each brand’s score was assigned by taking the difference in likelihood to visit retailers of interest before and after attending a game, known as a location affinity score.
The Dream Team: Automotive Sector Sweeps NCAA Fandom
Overall, the automotive sector had a very high average location affinity. Buick and Infiniti, both official NCAA corporate partners, saw more game attendees after the tournament than before. Automotive manufacturers are the top television advertising category for the championship games, with 11 different advertisers spending over $266 million (18% of the total ad revenue) on pre-game, game, and post-game programming. Buick and Infiniti are among the top advertisers.
The Underdogs: Wendy’s New Sponsorship Ripe for Fast Food Takeover
The fast food category overall had fairly low location affinity, meaning that game attendees were not as likely or in some cases even less likely to visit restaurant chains after attending a championship game.
While Wendy’s location affinity score was low (-0.70%), the restaurant chain actually had the highest pre-game/post-game location affinities out of its competitors, meaning that the chain saw less than a 1% difference in the likelihood that game attendees would visit a Wendy’s location before a game vs. after. Considering that this is their first year as the NCAA’s “Official Hamburger,” this could be promising for the quick service restaurant chain.
Tournament Attendees Shoot Hoops After Games
Sporting retailers overall have fairly high location affinity, meaning that fans are likely to later be seen at retailers typically associated with selling gear to people actually playing the game. The clear winner in this category is Play It Again Sports, a retailer that sells new and used sports and fitness equipment. While game attendees were not likely to visit Play It Again Sports prior to attending a tournament (-8.28%), their post-game likelihood jumps to 25.13%. This impressive change in consumer behavior scores Play It Again Sports the second place spot in our bracket and proves that attending a championship game inspires fans to get out and play sports.