Thursday, February 2, 2012
IAB’s First-Ever Mobile Sports Savvy Index Has Patriots Fans Edging Out Giants Fans in Digital Usage on Mobile Devices

More Root for the Giants, But Patriot Fans’ Video and Social Media Habits on Smartphones & Tablets Power New England Team to a Digital Win

NEW YORK, NY (February 2, 2012) — With Super Bowl 2012 marking the first time that the big game will be streamed live on computers and mobile devices, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) ( today released, “Super Bowl Goes Mobile.” The study includes the first-ever “IAB Mobile Sports Savvy Index,” which pitted New England Patriots fans against New York Giants fans regarding ownership of smartphones and tablets, and regular digital usage of those devices. It was a close call, but Patriots supporters took the digital win.

The IAB created the index based on an online survey conducted in January on their behalf by Harris Interactive of more than 2000 U.S. adults, 70 percent of whom said they planned to watch the Super Bowl. Of those, 40 percent said they were rooting for the Giants, while 29 percent claimed they were cheering for the Patriots. The index, which looked at ownership of smartphones and tablets, as well as regular digital usage, yielded an extremely close score. Comparing the fan bases to the national average, Giants supporters did outgun “Pats” fans when it came to accessing sports content on mobile devices. Ultimately, however, Patriots fans’ predisposition to watch video and propensity to post to social media sites awarded them the victory.

Components of IAB Mobile Sports Savviness Index
(National Average = 100)
Giants Fans Patriots Fans
Smartphone ownership 112 111
Tablet ownership 123 104
Weekly or more frequently (percentages of consumers who own a smartphone or tablet):    
    Watch videos via smartphone or tablet 100 114
    Post to social media via a smartphone or tablet 98 131
    Access sports content via a smartphone or tablet 147 136
    Send or receive e-mails via a smartphone or tablet 104 95
    Send or receive text messages via a smartphone or tablet 100 104
    Read news via a smartphone or tablet 110 97
Final Index Score (Weighted Average): 114 116

Regardless of consumers’ Super Bowl team favorite, smartphone or tablet owners are likely to have their mobile device nearby. Fifty-six percent of smartphone owners said they plan to use their phone during the game, and 45 percent of tablet owners plan to use that device. One in 10 expect to watch or get more information about Super Bowl advertising on smartphones or tablets during or after the big game.

“Historically, the commercials that run during the Super Bowl have been as highly anticipated as the game itself,” said Joe Laszlo, Senior Director, IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence. “Americans will now be augmenting their game day viewing with numerous activities on smartphones and tablets. Revealing the ‘mobile savviness’ characteristics of Giants and Patriots fans is a lighthearted way to underscore the value that mobile brings to sports enthusiasts and also the opportunity it offers to brand marketers trying to reach this in-demand audience.”

Age will play a significant role as to whether or not phones will specifically be in the mix on game day. Eighteen to 34 year-old Super Bowl viewers with smartphones look like they will be glued to those devices, with 74 percent claiming that their phones will be a part of the “big game” experience. Over half (51%) say they will definitely be texting, emailing and/or instant messaging to discuss the event.

Despite the growing use of mobile devices, consumers are unlikely to be viewing the whole game on their phone. Although Verizon Wireless users can stream the Super Bowl live exclusively on mobile phones, merely 4 percent of smartphone owners expect to watch the entire event on their handsets.

Some of the other survey findings include:

  • Nearly two-thirds (62%) of smartphone or tablet owners who plan to watch the Super Bowl away from home (at a friends’ house, public place, or somewhere else) plan to use their device during the game
  • More than half (53%) of smartphone or tablet users planning to watch at home expect to make use of their mobile gadgets

Going beyond mobile, the study revealed additional digital Super Bowl findings:

  • Four in 10 (41%) of those who plan to watch the Super Bowl will use their computer for something related to Super Bowl ads
  • The most popular activity that viewers of the game plan to do on their computer during or just after the Super Bowl is watching Super Bowl commercials (18%)
  • In comparison, only 8 percent of viewers plan to watch highlights or replays during or just after the game on their computer

To download the entire research study, including the “IAB Mobile Sports Savvy Index,” please visit

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of IAB from January 23-25, 2012 among 2,217 adults, ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. The IAB selected eight data points from the survey to comprise its “Mobile Sports Savvy Index.” It looked at smartphone and tablet ownership, and weekly or more frequent smartphone or tablet use of the following: posting to social media, accessing sports content, checking news, e-mail, text messaging, and viewing video. For Giants fans and Patriots fans, the IAB indexed each of these data points relative to the national average, and then aggregated the individual index values via a weighted average giving the most weight to accessing sports content and posting to social media, and equal, lesser, weight to the other six criteria. For more information please contact [email protected].

About the IAB
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is comprised of more than 500 leading media and technology companies that are responsible for selling 86% of online advertising in the United States. On behalf of its members, the IAB is dedicated to the growth of the interactive advertising marketplace, of interactive’s share of total marketing spend, and of its members’ share of total marketing spend. The IAB educates marketers, agencies, media companies and the wider business community about the value of interactive advertising. Working with its member companies, the IAB evaluates and recommends standards and practices and fields critical research on interactive advertising. Founded in 1996, the IAB is headquartered in New York City with a Public Policy office in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit

IAB Media Contact
Laura Goldberg
[email protected]