Looking Ahead: You Had a Trip Planned to See Your Team’s Big Game. Now What?

Looking Ahead: You Had a Trip Planned to See Your Team’s Big Game. Now What?

Individuals likely to buy travel insurance over index for an interest in sports travel. Does this mean they could prove more eager to book post-COVID?

Right now, we should be sitting in a ballpark on a warm spring day enjoying a stadium hot dog and a cold beer while rooting for our favorite baseball team.

For what it’s worth, those of us at Resonate might be cheering on the reigning World Series champions, the Washington Nationals.

But, we’re not. We’re dutifully practicing social distancing and hoping that the NBA will get a chance to finish their season, that the NHL will play for the Stanley Cup and that, certainly, fans will be back in the stands in time for college football and those crisp autumn days spent tailgating. In fact, according to Ad Age’s interview with Fox Sports, the major sports network is operating under the assumption that football will start on time in the fall.

And, we’re not the only ones eagerly awaiting the return of college and professional sports. At Resonate, we’ve been digging through the data on consumers and COVID-19. As we looked at the the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on travel, we noticed a trend in among travelers who purchased travel insurance: they’re often frequent travelers who travel for sports and over index when it comes to consuming sports-related media content.

Sports Travelers Are Most Likely to Purchase Travel Insurance

Does this mean sports travelers could be the first to book again as we return to the new normal? Are they cautiously optimistic looking to Summer and Fall 2020, possibly booking sports related travel, but with the safety net of travel insurance?

These travelers like to stay busy on their trips and don’t typically return to the same place year-after-year. They often travel with friends to accomplish bucket list goals (a game at Fenway or Lambeau Field, perhaps?). This group of travelers over indexes by 29% for watching pro sports, 17% for enjoying active vacations and 11% for playing golf.

They’re frequent travelers who look for a convenient location in a hotel, the ability to earn free nights through a loyalty program and want conveniently timed, non-stop flights that carry the ability to redeem and earn miles and points. They over index by 45% on wanting a high-quality experience and 28% for a trustworthy travel partner –– this group is comprised of savvy travelers who want to build beneficial, loyal relationships with the companies they choose to book with (just like the loyalty they show for the teams they root for!).

sports travel - sports travel insurance - Looking Ahead: You Had a Trip Planned to See Your Team’s Big Game. Now What?

Let’s Look at the General Demographics

Who are the sports fan travelers most likely to buy travel insurance? This group evenly splits between 25-34, 35-44 and 45-54 years of age, with another significant group at 55-64 years old. They skew to a higher income: 22% have a household income between $100 and 150K.

This group is 53% female, 64% married, and 38% have a college degree.

sports travel - sports travel insurance - Looking Ahead: You Had a Trip Planned to See Your Team’s Big Game. Now What?

Where Will You Find Sports-Enthusiasts Who Are Likely to Purchase Travel Insurance?

Tying in with their enthusiasm for sports travel, you’ll find these consumers on sports-related media channels. They over index by 82% for ESPN+ streaming service and 88% for watching ESPN 2. Coming in at two and three for Top TV Networks are ESPN, over indexing at 67%, and Fox Sports, over indexing at 64%. They over index by 59% for reading Sports Illustrated. And, not surprisingly, their top two apps by category are travel and sports, with navigation/maps coming in third. This is a group that is consuming sports media across channels.

sports travel - sports travel insurance - Looking Ahead: You Had a Trip Planned to See Your Team’s Big Game. Now What?

How Do You Leverage This Group as We Look Towards Q3 and Q4 Travel Bookings?

Knowing that this group is the most likely to purchase travel insurance, they could also be the most likely to spring for a convenient direct flight to see their team play in an iconic location. They feel confident they can get their money back should plans fall through, they have trusting relationships with the travel partners they’ve booked with over the years and believe their investment in travel insurance will protect them either way.

Market to this group on the channels where they spend the most time –– ESPN +, ESPN 2, ESPN and in Sports Illustrated. Advertise bucket list sports trips, whether it’s to catch a big game or play an unforgettable weekend of golf. Of course, you’ll want to use tact in marketing travel during the coronavirus pandemic, but this is the first group you should look to as we return to normalcy later in Q2 of 2020.

More on the Data

This data is drawn from Resonate’s National Consumer Study, which includes contextual analysis on the impact of COVID-19. This data is tied to the online digital behaviors of over 500 million devices by leveraging AI & predictive modeling to predict the survey responses of the individuals using these devices. With more than 100 questions and 5,000 respondents on COVID-19 there is industry coverage from finance to travel, politics, entertainment, media, retail and more.

Resonate provides approximately 200 million human profiles featuring 13,000+ elements to reveal the deepest understanding of US consumers. This audience analysis includes baseline comparisons between highlighted audiences and the online adult population. Dive even deeper into the data by downloading our just released report: Understanding U.S. Consumer Sentiment During the Coronavirus Pandemic.

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