4FRONT analyzes “Quarantine Re-emergers” data segment on behalf of our partners

AP Article By JAY COHEN

Original Article can be found at: https://apnews.com/article/nfl-mlb-nba-nhl-football-18f137a78478dfda92ae76aad96e47d4

Whitney Munro had some concerns about returning to sporting events. So, like any good mom, she did her homework, learning more about the policies in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Munro, 38, who lives in Coppell, Texas, with her husband, Rupert, and 13-year-old son, Riley, went to the Dallas Stars’ watch parties during their run to the Stanley Cup Final last year. She watched her Oklahoma Sooners’ Cotton Bowl win on Dec. 30, and she has season tickets for the Stars this year.

“I’ve actually felt really safe,” said Munro, who works in nonprofit management. “And I felt like the organizations who hosted the events that we’ve gone to have done a great job of putting in kind of just those type of parameters so that everyone feels comfortable and gets to actually go do this stuff.”

Another wave of fans is set to follow Munro into arenas and ballparks across the United States as more sports begin to host small crowds amid the pandemic. New York’s Madison Square Garden had roughly 2,000 fans on hand for the Knicks game Tuesday night. Several spring training facilities will open their doors to fans when major league exhibition games start on Sunday. The NCAA men’s basketball tournament in Indiana has cleared the way for small crowds after it was canceled last year.

Socially distant seating, mask mandates and temperature checks will be in place at many venues, but some experts remain concerned about community spread and the threat of more contagious variants of COVID-19. While average daily deaths and cases have plummeted in recent weeks, the COVID-19 death toll in the U.S. topped 500,000 Monday.

Many places will have no problem filling their limited capacities, but some sports are looking at a longer road when it comes to fans returning.

The Quershif family take a selfie outside Madison Square Garden before an NBA basketball game between the New York Knicks and the Golden State Warriors in New York on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. A limited number of fans was allowed to attend. (AP Photo/Brittainy Newman)

Examining anonymized online browsing behavior and third-party data covering 921 million phones, tablets and other devices in the U.S., sports marketing firm 4FRONT identified 434 million devices belonging to what it calls “quarantine re-emergers,” part of households “that have recently visited dining, entertainment and retail locations,” with modeled predictive data also factored into the equation.

Of the 109 million devices belonging to NASCAR fans — based on online browsing behavior like interacting with a NASCAR website or purchasing NASCAR apparel — 68 million, or 62%, were considered re-emerged, the best percentage of any of the sports examined by 4FRONT. UFC was next at 59% of 40 million devices, followed by the NFL at 53% of 497 million devices. Major League Baseball (42% of 245 million) and the PGA Tour (20% of 94 million) were at the bottom of the list.

4FRONT analyzes "Quarantine Re-emergers" data segment on behalf of our partners
4FRONT Analytics & Oracle BlueKai DMP

COVID-19 RELEVANT DATA SEGMENTS

 Source: Oracle BlueKai, AnalyticsIQ

4FRONT’s data management platform (DMP), Oracle BlueKai, houses 70+ data sources and 60,000+ data segments with unmatched targeting capabilities. Using AnalyticsIQ, 4FRONT’s DMP has curated an audience called “Quarantine Re-emergers” based on geolocational pinpoints and online browsing behavior of registered devices.

Total Devices (U.S.):

~921M Devices

Quarantine Re-emergers (U.S.):

~434M Devices

Devices in households have recently and frequently visited dining, entertainment and retail locations.
(47% of Total Devices U.S.)

NASCAR

NASCAR Fans (U.S.): ~109M Devices

68M Devices Re-emerged: 62%

UFC

UFC Fans (U.S.): ~40M Devices

23M Devices Re-emerged: 59%

NFL

NFL Fans (U.S.): ~497M Devices

263M Devices Re-emerged: 53%

MLS

MLS Fans (U.S.): ~105M Devices

55M Devices Re-emerged: 52%

College B-Ball

College B-Ball Fans (U.S.): ~303M Devices

155M Devices Re-emerged: 51%

ESPORTS

Esports Fans (U.S.): ~98M Devices

50M Devices Re-emerged: 51%

College Football

College Football Fans (U.S.): ~327M Devices

160M Devices Re-emerged: 49%

NBA

NBA Fans (U.S.): ~409M Devices

192M Devices Re-emerged: 47%

NHL

NHL Fans (U.S.): ~188M Devices

87M Devices Re-emerged: 47%

WNBA

 WNBA Fans (U.S.): ~4.54M Devices 

2.1M Devices Re-emerged: 46% 

MLB

MLB Fans (U.S.): ~245M Devices

102M Devices Re-emerged: 42%

PGA Tour

PGA Tour Fans (U.S.): ~94M Devices

19M Devices Re-emerged: 20%

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“I think broad headline, fans are ready to come back,” said Dan Migala, a co-founder and partner at 4FRONT. “Just the overall data, they’re basically saying we’re ready. The fact that the majority of those are in that 40-to-60% range is a great sign.”

Even small crowds during a pandemic present a wide array of challenges for sports organizations, beginning with the safety of fans and employees. Collaboration is one route for helping alleviate some of the issues.

NFL teams shared best practices throughout the season, and Kansas City Chiefs president Mark Donovan said the organization had been in communication with MLB’s Royals. Kauffman Stadium is across a parking lot from the Chiefs’ Arrowhead Stadium.

The Chiefs hosted approximately 17,000 fans for each home game last season. Fans had to go through temperature checks, sit in small groups and pods, adhere to strict social-distancing measures and wear facemasks whenever they weren’t eating or drinking.

“It’s really brought our organization closer together,” Donovan said. “We all do a good job of dividing and conquering and staying in our lanes and football and business, but when you’re on the phone at 3:30 a.m. doing contact tracing to see whether a player can play or a worker can work almost every day, every week, it does bring you together.”

Eric Ownby, 50, a construction executive in Scottsdale, Arizona, attended the PGA Tour’s Waste Management Phoenix Open this month. It was his first professional sports event since the pandemic started.

Ownby was impressed with how organizers handled the limited fans in attendance.

“I thought they did a great job of being very professional, very polite, but making sure that the spectators adhered to the mask requirement,” he said.

Shelley Caine, 58, a retired school counselor in Milwaukee, had a similar experience when she attended Green Bay’s playoff game against Tampa Bay a month ago. She said she tends to be more cautious when it comes to COVID-19, but she felt comfortable at Lambeau Field because of the Packers organization’s attention to detail.

“Even like in the women’s restrooms, I mean there’s just hardly any people there, but there was somebody in there cleaning constantly,” she said. “They covered sinks so that you could only go to every other sink. Yeah, I thought they really did a good job.”

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AP Sports Writer Dave Skretta contributed to this report.

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Jay Cohen can be reached at https://twitter.com/jcohenap

Reach out to Jared@Team4FRONT.com if you and your team are interested in utilizing covid-specific data in your future fan engagement strategies.

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