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FYI Guy

Seattle Times news librarian Gene Balk crunches the numbers

January 27, 2015 at 6:30 AM

Who is the 12th Man?

Seahawks fans show their spirit at least year's Super Bowl XLVIII Media Day at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. (Photo: John Lok)

Seahawks fans show their spirit at least year’s Super Bowl Media Day at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. (Photo: John Lok)

Data plays a bigger-than-ever role in the way we experience televised sports — and rest assured, there will be no player stat left unturned during Sunday’s big game.

But what about the fans — can we get some stats on the 12th man?

You bet. I turned to the market-research firm Nielsen Scarborough, which surveys thousands of folks in the Seattle area every year. According to their data, about 35 percent of us say we’re “very interested” in the NFL — we’ll call them hardcore Hawks fans.

How do they compare to the rest of us?

– Nearly two out of three hardcore Hawks fans are men — but women make up an increasingly large share of the local fan base.

– Hawks fans are a little more “red” than non-fans: They’re 22 percent more likely to identify as Republican.

– Not surprisingly, Hawks fans are more likely to play football for fun by a wide margin. Less expected: More than half say they enjoy gardening.

– Their drink of choice is beer, and they’re 21 percent more likely to love beer than non-fans. But their No. 1 pick for a domestic regular is…Sam Adams. Boston-based Sam Adams. That’ll have to change before Sunday.

– They may wear blue and green proudly, but it’s a paler shade of green. Less than half carry reusable shopping bags, and compared to non-fans, they’re only half as likely to donate time or money to an environmental cause.

– They’re more likely to drive an SUV or a truck — but they are also more likely to not own a car at all.

– They’re bigger gamblers (by 53 percent) and buy more lottery tickets (by 36 percent).

– They enjoy fast food at a significantly higher rate — especially McDonald’s, Subway, and KFC.

– Hawks fans are 17 percent less likely to describe their health as excellent (see above).

Seahawks fans tell us what it means to be a 12th Man. Video by Lauren Frohne and Corinne Chin / The Seattle Times; Additional video by Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times

Comments | More in Market Research | Topics: Seahawks

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