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2016 Olympics Report

Rubicon Project’s 2016 Olympics Report – a nationwide survey of more than 1,000 sports fans – offers a detailed look at the changing ways consumers are engaging with Olympics content.

Rubicon Project is unveiling the findings from a new survey of more than 1,000 sports fans that outlines how the changing ways consumers are engaging with content is making this year’s games the first “anytime, anywhere” Olympics, plotting a clear roadmap for advertisers eager to engage these fans.

While 87 percent of sports fans plan to watch the Summer Olympics, the way in which they consume Olympics content will undergo dramatic change as mobile and online video draw millions of eyeballs away from traditional television viewing providing both content creators and advertisers significant new opportunities to reach Olympics fans. For example, 79 percent of millennials plan to cut the cord and watch the Olympics live online and 7 out of 10 plan to watch on their mobile device, furthering the “always on” evolution of today’s fans.

Millennials and Rio Olympics

The survey also highlighted a key insight for brands seeking to reach the majority of Olympics fans who plan to use a connected device while watching television. This includes 8 out of 10 millennials who will have a second screen open “most of the time” they watch the Olympics and will spend most of their second screen time consuming content related to what is on the television. This is a powerful opportunity for brands to reach consumers in far more targeted and personally relevant ways.

Olympics Second Screen

Key findings from the survey include:

  • Ratings Gold — 87 percent of sports fans plan to follow the Olympics; 3 in 5 sports fans plan to follow the Olympics online
  • Millennials Mean Digital — 81% of Millennial sports fans plan to consume Olympics content online, while over 7 in 10 plan to watch on their mobile device
  • Second Screen Presents a Second Chance to Win — 57% of Olympic followers note they have a second screen open when watching sports some of the time; Millennial Olympic fans are more than twice as likely to have a second screen open “most or all of the time” compared to Non-Millennials (82% vs. 48%)
  • Streaming is Picking up Speed — 44% of Olympic followers plan to watch the Games streaming live on their computer or mobile device; 79% of Millennials plan to cut the cord and watch live online
  • The Fans are in Control — 3 out of 10 regularly watch sports from work; most (69%) will watch the Olympics during prime time coverage; a near majority plan to consume content late into the evening with nearly 7 out of 10 planning to watch on both weekdays and weekends
  • Higher Income + Higher Education = Digitally Inclined — Over 50% of Olympic Followers have an annual household income above $50K (57% vs. 32% Non-Followers) and a college or graduate degree (51% vs. 28% Non-Followers)

To download further information on this study and insight into additional data, please fill out the form below.

Survey Methodology

Rubicon Project engaged global polling firm Penn Schoen Berland to conduct 1,105 interviews (MOE ±2.95%) among sports fans in the US who self-identified as die-hard or avid fans. The interviews were conducted from May 21st to May 23rd, 2016.


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