BLOG | by Tracy Schoenadel

Do COVID-enforced changes to the sports calendar make a big difference? Here’s the case of a September Tour de France

Like many events, the Tour de France has this year been forced to change its plans. Instead of its usual mid-July spot, this year the race took place mainly in September, wrapping up with a thrilling finale.

This has meant clashes with other sports properties, including the European soccer season, and we wondered if the change had affected excitement around the event among the general public. Here’s what the data told us:

The chart shows the corresponding time frames for the 2019 and 2020 races (a four-week period from the start of the race) and shows Buzz for the event for both years (have you heard anything positive/negative about the event – net %). And as you can see, although there is a slight downturn in Buzz between the years, the change is pretty small. And in terms of peak Buzz, which we also looked, the scores were comparable between the years.

That’s solid news for organisers who would have been worried about where the Tour fitted into people’s priorities – and perhaps other sports administrators concerned about changes to their properties’ schedule. This, and evidence from America’s major leagues, suggest that it takes more than just a date change for sports events to lose people’s attention.

BLOG | by Tracy Schoenadal

Senior Vice President & Managing Director of Sports, North America

Tracy is one of the leading authorities in sport marketing and sponsorship research with 25 years of experience in the sponsorship and advertising industry, as well as holding academic positions at University of Massachusetts Amherst, New York University, University of Richmond and University of Connecticut. Tracy was the original managing editor of the publication Sport Marketing Quarterly. She holds a degree in Sport Management.


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