BLOG | by YouGov Sport

Issues considered acceptable in brand communications among socially conscious US sports fans

In the latest YouGov sports whitepaper – Uncovering the Socially Responsible Sports Fan – we take a holistic and global look at the world’s biggest social issues through the lens of sports fans.

In this piece, we look at a slice of the data, examining the issues that socially responsible American sports fans are most likely to consider as acceptable in brand communications.

Socially conscious sports fans are defined as those that watch or follow any sport on a regular basis and agree with any one of the following statements: “I try to buy only from companies who are socially and environmentally responsible” or “I like brands that are willing to get involved in social issues”.

Human rights (40%) and environmental issues (40%) top the list of issues socially conscious sports fans in the US consider acceptable in a brand’s communications. . Animal cruelty (34%), education (30%), and LGBT+ rights (28%) round out the top five.

About a quarter of socially conscious sports fans in America are also accepting of local issues (26%) in brand messaging, and the same is the case with both gender issues (24%) and aligning with specific charities (24%). Even though they appear at the bottom of the list, a sizeable chunk of this audience will also accept issues of immigration and international issues in brand communication.

But for the messaging to be truly effective, brands need to be credible and consistent in the causes they support. The socially conscious sports fan in the States looks for authenticity from brands, with more than four in five of them indicating as much (84%).

A similar proportion of socially conscious sports fans (85%) say it is important to them that brands show they care, and that they understand the everyday challenges people face.

Brands have become increasingly willing to take stances on social issues in recent times, but they must be careful to craft messaging in a way that connects with fans emotionally and comes across as authentic.

The socially responsible fan is studied more comprehensively in our latest whitepaper titles – Uncovering the Socially Responsible Sports Fan.

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