Last week, according to Nielsen*, 62,429 adults living in southern Maine tuned-in to one of the all-sports stations on the Portland radio dial. Sports radio provides an excellent option for Maine small business owners to reach certain types of listeners that are very difficult and expensive to reach in other media.
Sports became a staple of radio programming in America 97 years ago. This was 4 years before there was even a single Portland radio station. Now days, people living in Southern Maine can talk sports and listen to live, play-by-play 24 hours a day on stations like WZAN, the local affiliate for ESPN Radio, and WJJB, also known as the "Big Jab".
The first sporting event ever was broadcast on July 2, 1921. This was a mere 240 days after the birth of commercial radio.
With a stolen transmitter from the navy yard in Hoboken (not the first time something went missing in Hoboken), radio station WJY would broadcast the first play-by-play sporting event ever. The event was a match between the heavyweight boxing champion-of-the-world, Jack Dempsey, and challenger Georges Carpentier. Although the fight only lasted 4 rounds and was heard by only 300,000 people throughout the Northeast, historian David Halbetsram called the event "an epochal success...a springboard to radio's enormous national growth."
A few month later that Ocboer, KDKA in Pittsburgh, would broadcast the World Series between the New York Giants and The New York Yankees. For thi historic broadcast, the technology did not exist to provide live play-by-play from the stadium. Instead, KDKA radio announcer Grantland Rice recreated the game in real-time in the studio by reading telegraph reports sent from the New York Polo Grounds where the series was being played.
On July 1, 1987, WHN radio in New York, ditched its country music format and became the first all-sports radio station in America. It was a homerun.
Today, there are 844 all-sports radio stations in the United States. These stations account for 3.8% of all radio listening. In southern Maine, however, 7.7% of all adults tune-in to sports on Portland radio.
As the New York Times said in a recent story titled, To Reach Men, Advertisers Dial In To Sports, "when compared with the rest of radio — not to mention streaming audio and podcasts — sports radio is still a niche, but one of increasing interest for advertisers."
John Fitzgerald of ESPN points out that advertisers are beginning to understand that all-sports radio is the province of older listeners.
“One of the things that advertisers are starting to understand," Fitzgerald told The Times, "that sports radio is not your grandfather,” Mr. Fitzgerald of ESPN told The Times, “We do well with 18 to 49, we do well with 25 to 54, and we do well with 35-plus."
This is true for southern Maine radio listeners as well. According to Nielsen*, among the listeners to Portland's sport radio stations, 55% are between the ages of 35 and 54. This is an advertising demographic coveted by Maine small business owners
Here is other demographic information about Portland's all-sports radio listeners that will be important to many of Maine's small business owners.
- 78.8% are male
- 15% more likely to be employed full-time versus the general population
- 22% more likely to have a management position versus the general population
- 6% more likely to have any white- collar job versus the general population
- 14% more likely to earn $75,000 or more versus the general population
- 16% more likely to own a home valued at $200,000 or more versus the general population
- 12% more likely to be a college graduate versus the general population
- 25% more likely to be have a post-graduate degree versus the general population
Most importantly, for those business owners who are looking to advertise to consumers in southern Maine who fit the description above, they are very difficult reach except on radio. For instance;
- Sports radio listeners are 33% less likely to watch local TV versus the general population
- Two-thirds of sports radio listeners don't read local newspapers
- Only 32% of sports radio listeners read local magazines
- Only 17% of sports radio listeners in southern Maine use a streaming media service like Spotify or Pandora.
Of course, advertising on Portland's all-sports radio stations is not recommended for every Maine small business owners. But, based on the research above, those companies that market their goods and services to affluent males between the ages of 35 and 54, sports radio would be an effective and efficient investment
More Advice For Maine Small Business Owners
- Maine Small Business Owners Must Read This Before Buying Advertising
- Maine Business Owners Speak For Themselves In Ads On Portland Radio
- Maine Restaurant Owners Reach Hungry Consumers On Portland Radio
- Maine Small Business: Using Portland Radio To Reach Millennials
- Portland Radio: Best Way To Reach Likely Maine Voters