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Seattle Times news librarian Gene Balk crunches the numbers

Topic: sports

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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.


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

March 2, 2013 at 2:41 PM

How much does Seattle love the Sounders?

soundersYou always knew in your heart that the Sounders have the best fans in all of Major League Soccer.   Well here’s the data to prove it.  You can enjoy tonight’s season opener with the knowledge that among the 15 U.S. markets with MLS teams, Seattle/Tacoma has the highest percentage of folks who either attend or watch the games, and the highest percentage who identify as hardcore fans.

In nationwide surveys conducted between August 2011 and September 2012 by market data firm Scarborough Research, 21.5 percent of adults in the Seattle/Tacoma market said they’d watched on TV or attended a game in person in the past year, and 6 percent said they were “very interested” in the MLS.  That ranks us at the top in both categories.  You can see how all the U.S. markets compare in the chart below; roll your mouse over each bar to see the numbers


Comments | More in Market Research | Topics: Sounders, sports

January 28, 2013 at 8:30 AM

Which sports have the most fans in Seattle?

NASCAR — more popular than you thought?  Fans watch the action at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe (Photo: Guroadrunne/Wikimedia Commons)

I recently wrote about the low level of fan interest in the NBA here — when surveyed, only 4.1 percent of people in the Seattle market expressed a “very high” level of interest in pro basketball.  Some readers asked me for more context — how does the NBA compare with other sports here when it comes to fan support?

The chart below shows the 12 sports that came out on top.


Comments | More in Market Research | Topics: sports

January 15, 2013 at 11:00 PM

With worse fan support than Spokane, can Seattle get its NBA mojo back?

Sonics fans cheer as Seattle destroys Phoenix at Key Arena in the 1997 NBA playoffs. (Credit: Rod Mar / The Seattle Times)

Basketball fans have been on the edge of their seats for days. Seattle seems so close to getting back a team — is the acquisition of the Sacramento Kings already a done deal?  Or are the rumors premature, and have hopes been raised, only to be quashed again?

With the enormous amount of local media attention focused on the drama unfolding in Sacramento, you might think that Seattle is a basketball-crazy town.  But you’d be wrong.


Comments | More in Market Research | Topics: basketball, sports

January 10, 2013 at 11:00 PM

Seahawks fans vs. Falcons fans, by the numbers

For last Sunday’s Seahawks-Redskins playoff, I used market research data to see how the two teams’ fans measured up.  Even though it turned out that D.C. fans are a lot wealthier, all their money couldn’t buy them a win. So now, heading into our playoff game against Atlanta, let’s have another head-to-head — Seahawks fans vs. Falcons fans. We don’t have the income disparity this time (fans of both teams have comparable median incomes), but there are differences nonetheless.


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

January 5, 2013 at 12:45 PM

Seahawks fans vs. Redskins fans, by the numbers

Heading into tomorrow’s big game, you’ll see tons of stats on the teams and the players — but what about the fans?  How do folks from the Seattle and D.C. metro areas who’ll be cheering on their home teams stack up? In order to find out, I looked at survey-based market data from Scarborough Research on the most rabid NFL fans from both cities. I’ve got the numbers, so let’s go to the scoreboard.


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

September 24, 2012 at 4:17 PM

Who are the Storm fans?

Storm game at Key Arena, 2008 (photo credit: (Two Gypsy Hearts/ Kate via Wikimedia Commons)

In The Seattle Times, Jerry Brewer reports on the challenges faced by the group of women who own Seattle’s WNBA team, the Storm.  It ain’t easy owning the Storm.  No women’s sports team in America has ever had lasting success, and as Jerry puts it, owning the team is “neither a luxury nor a hobby.  It’s an assignment, and sometimes a burden” for these dedicated women.

To get a sense of just how much women’s pro basketball is up against, look no further than the slew of disparaging reader’s comments on The Times story.  It’s an uphill battle, to say the least.

So the Storm have plenty of detractors, sure.  But they have their fans, too.

Just who are the Storm’s fans?


Comments | More in Market Research | Topics: basketball, Seattle Storm, sports