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Seattle Times news librarian Gene Balk crunches the numbers

January 7, 2014 at 4:02 PM

The desires of Seahawks fans: whiskey, red meat and flowers


Hawks fan Andy Lindenaar at the King Street Bar & Oven in Seattle. (Lindsey Wasson/The Seattle Times)

When the Seahawks are winning, it seems like everyone’s a fan. The city is awash in lime-and-blue jerseys with the number 12.

But who are the true fanatics — the ones who eat, sleep and breathe Seahawks, regardless of the win-loss record?

Thanks to newly released survey data by market-research company Scarborough, we have an answer.

First, we define fans as folks in Puget Sound who described themselves to Scarborough as “very interested in the NFL” and said they had watched a Seahawks game on television or listened to it on the radio in the past year.

No surprise, these fans are predominantly white guys — about 33 percent more likely to match that demographic than the population as a whole in this region.

That’s not to say women aren’t hard-core Hawks fans. They make up one-third of this group. And among all women in our region, the NFL is their No. 1 professional sport to follow, with Major League Baseball coming in a distant second.

For income, age and marital status, the typical fan closely matches the average adult in our region in several respects. He has a median household income of about $64,000, is on average 47 years old, and nearly three out of five are married.

But when you dig into their consumer habits, these fans start to stand apart.

For one, they are bigger drinkers. In a typical week, some 60 percent consume at least one alcoholic drink — significantly above the norm for adults here.

Their top beer brand: big surprise, Bud Light, “the official beer of the NFL.” In a land of microbrews, the typical Seahawks fan is 93 percent more likely than the typical drinker here to have sucked down a Bud Light.

As for the hard stuff, they favor whiskey, rather than vodka, which data show is the top choice for adults in our region.

Seahawks fans also like red meat. More than one in seven has dined at a steakhouse in the past month, which is 50 percent above the norm.

Though they’re glued to the TV on game day, Hawks fan aren’t all just arm-chair quarterbacks. They’re much more likely to belong to a health club. Compared to the population as a whole, this fan group is nearly three times more likely to have played football in the past year.

Typical Seahawks fans also have a softer side. In the past year, nearly one in three has purchased flowers or jewelry — well above average for our area.

Maybe they’re feeling guilty about the beer, the whiskey and all those games.

Comments | More in Market Research | Topics: football, NFL, Seahawks


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