Tying Your Brand to the Excited, Engaged Audience of College Football
THE APPEAL OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL
The year was 1925 and the Alabama Crimson Tide had been invited to battle the Washington Huskies in the Rose Bowl.
Known as “the Game that Changed the South,” and considered by College Football historians to be the first-ever National Championship, the 1925 Rose Bowl was a game for the ages. The Huskies led 12-0 at the half, but after 20-point 3rd quarter by Alabama, the Crimson Tide prevailed in a 20-19 finish.
Fast forward 90 years, and you’ll find that Alabama has kept their winning ways alive.
Earlier this year, in the second year of the College Football Playoff, Alabama found themselves squaring off against the undefeated #1 Seed Clemson Tigers in the College Football National Championship.
With the experience of legendary coach, Nick Saban, and the grinding legs of Heisman Trophy Winner, Derrick Henry, Alabama was the heavy favorite to win the “Natty” and win it big.
However, with an effective offense showing and stifling defensive effort by the Clemson Tigers, Alabama seemed to have met their match. With the game tied at 24 a piece in the 4th quarter, Coach Nick Saban called and recovered an onside kick that flipped the momentum of the game in Alabama’s favor, and propelled the Crimson Tide to a 45-40 victory.
That victory marked Alabama’s 16th National Championship in 90 years.
While that contest (along with the rest of the bowl season) was the star of the College Football season, the regular season was highlighted by some amazing games in its own right.
Maybe we’ll take a walk back to Halloween when the Miami Hurricanes visited the Duke Blue Devils. After a back and forth battle all night, Duke scored a touchdown with only :06 left on the clock to take a 27-24 lead. But on the ensuing kickoff, the Hurricanes completed an unbelievable 8-lateral kickoff return to upset the newly ranked Blue Devils by a score of 31-27.
Perhaps we’ll visit Ann Arbor, Michigan where 100,000 fans came to watch the Michigan St. Spartans take on Jim Harbaugh’s Michigan Wolverines. The Wolverines led 23-21 at the tail-end of the 4th quarter, and were lined up to punt (and seal their victory) with :10 left on the clock. Michigan’s punter bobbled the snap, and the Spartans capitalized when they returned the mishandled ball to win the game and stun Michigan at home (and ending their playoff hopes).
What these games teach us is that parity is very much alive in college football, and that any team can win on any given Saturday. With these wild games and big crowds, it’s no doubt why college football has been a fan favorite for decades.
This allegiance and dedication to the game is one of the great elements about college football and undoubtedly speaks to the quality of the college football audience.
The audience speaks to the bravado and team loyalty that comes with college football as 66% of the viewers are male and a whopping 78% of the viewers are college educated. Further, 49% of college football fans carry a household income of $75K+, making them a lucrative group to target.
Advertising to this affluent and educated consumer is an amazing opportunity, and given the broad scope of games available (over 70 games are played every Saturday), there are plenty of opportunities to get in front of the College Football Fan.
Click here for more insights on sports advertising, and be on the lookout for the next post in our "Know Your Audience" blog series.
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