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March Madness, Other Sporting Events Drive Early Adoption of Technology


Arlington, VA – With the start of the NCAA’s March Madness basketball tournament this week, sports fans around the country are uniting their love of basketball with their love of technology. According to the study released today by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®, CEA Sports and Technology Study V, nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of sports “Super Fans” describe themselves as early technology adopters. Correspondingly, those least enthusiastic about sports are more likely to identify themselves as late technology adopters (36 percent), strengthening the positive relationship between sports and technology.

When it comes to technology preferences for sports fans, the newer the better. Basketball fans in particular display a high level of interest (66 percent) in 3D sports compared to sports fans in general (35 percent), and other adults (30 percent). Mobile TV is also popular among sports fans, and 49 percent of sports fans say they are specifically interested in watching the NCAA basketball tournament on their mobile devices. Among basketball fans, 68 percent say they are interested in watching sports on their mobile devices, compared to 30 percent of all sports fans.

“Passionate sports fans want to see every detail, every play. 3DTV provides sports fans with interactive and immersive experiences, while mobile devices allow fans to process sports data in more ways than ever,” said Kevin Tillmann, senior research analyst, CEA. “Fans can now stream live videos, catch up on highlights and even get real-time statistics right from their mobile devices without having to feel tethered to their TV. With so many March Madness games on the horizon, mobile technology can really help fans keep up with all the action.”

More than one third (37 percent) of sports fans said they intend to watch March Madness live on TV or online. However, sports fans are already using their mobile devices to follow these games. One third of tablet owners (33 percent) and one third of smartphone owners (35 percent) reported they will be using their devices to follow the NCAA basketball tournament.

Sport fans also report future plans to engage with and purchase new technologies. Super Fans, defined as the most sports-oriented consumer segment, are more likely to engage with sports-related activities on their mobile devices. Forty-six percent of Super Fans are likely to download a sports-related app, and 43 percent are likely to watch highlights on a cell phone or smartphone, compared to the 28 percent of all sports fans. Additionally, Super Fans say they are likely to purchase smartphones (73 percent), tablets (60 percent) and HDTVs with 3D capabilities (42 percent) in the next two years.

The full CEA Sports and Technology Study V report examines the role of technology in enabling consumers to watch and enjoy a broad range of sports events. In January, CEA revealed a portion of the findings of the release in relation to the Super Bowl and HDTV purchases. The study is designed and formulated by CEA Market Research, the most comprehensive source of sales data, forecasts, consumer research and historical trends for the consumer electronics industry. Please cite any information to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®. The complete report is available free to CEA member companies at Non-members can purchase the study at

About CEA

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the $209 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. More than 2,000 companies enjoy the benefits of CEA membership, including legislative advocacy, market research, technical training and education, industry promotion, standards development and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA also owns and produces the International CES – The Global Stage for Innovation. All profits from CES are reinvested into CEA’s industry services. Find CEA online: and Follow CES at and through both CEA and CES social media channels.


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