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The Score - Anthony Schoettle

Welcome to The Score, your place for hard-hitting sports business news, fast-breaking updates and fuel-injected debate.  Buckle up.  I'm your host, Anthony Schoettle, IBJ sports reporter.

Sports Business

Indy among national leaders in number of women sports fans

October 22, 2014
KEYWORDS Sports Business

It’s no secret these days that professional sports teams of all sorts are marketing to women. And with good reason—women make up one of the fastest-growing demographics of sports fans in the U.S.

Indianapolis' pro teams may have more reason than most to reach out to the female audience.

A recent study by Scarborough Research, a well-known research firm owned by New York-based Nielsen Media Research, found that the percentage of female sports fans in Indianapolis is well above most other cities. Of course, when it comes to sports—such as Major League Baseball—in which Indianapolis doesn’t have a team, Indy doesn’t do that well. But in sports where the city has representation, Indianapolis is well ahead of the curve.

For instance, among central Indiana women, 24.9 percent reported they were NFL fans. That’s seventh nationally, according to Scarborough. Green Bay is No. 1 at 33.2 percent.

How about the NBA? Indianapolis ranks No. 5, with 12.1 percent of women saying they are fans. San Antonio is No. 1 at 19.7 percent.

NASCAR? Indianapolis ranks No. 2 with 11.5 percent of women saying they are fans. Only Greensboro/High Point/Winston Salem, N.C., rank higher, at 11.8 percent. What about Charlotte? It’s No. 7 at 10 percent. The study didn't list IndyCar Series racing, but you'd have to believe Indianapolis would rank at the top of that list.

There are also a lot of women college basketball fans in the Circle City. Indianapolis is No. 8 with 15.4 percent of women saying they’re fans of the game. Who’s No. 1? Not surprisingly, it’s Lexington, Kentucky, with 27.6 percent. Louisville is No. 2 with 26.5 percent.

Most women sports fans in Indianapolis apparently don’t give much of a hoot about college football, Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League or Major League Soccer. Indy doesn’t rate in the top 10 in any the categories.

But if the Indy Eleven can continue to build their fan base and move up to the major league, and IU and Purdue can revive themselves on the gridiron, who knows?

There certainly seems to be a female audience here looking for teams to cheer.

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