Nearly a Quarter of U.S. Says They Are More Likely to Buy a Product Endorsed by an Athlete Involved in Prominent Sporting Events
“People don’t consciously respond to what influences them by advertising, so this is a large number,” said Rick Gentile, director of the poll, which is sponsored by The Sharkey Institute.
Twenty-two percent of the 681 adults responding (by both landline and cellphone, across all states), acknowledged that the athlete endorsement matters, and while 71% said “no,” advertisers have long known that many people say no and mean yes. Indeed, the use of celebrity athletes as endorsers goes back to the 19th century, when Cap Anson, Al Spalding, Mike “King” Kelly and John L. Sullivan had their images appear on advertising. (The poll’s margin of error is +/- 3.8%).
Trump Is Preferred ‘Coach’ of a College Basketball Team
The poll playfully asked who among the Presidential contenders would have the best chance of leading a basketball team to a Final Four berth, and for this, Donald Trump’s 27% led the field, with Bernie Sanders garnering 17%, and Hillary Clinton 16%. Trump had a wide advantage among male respondents (33%, with Clinton getting 11%) but among women they were virtually the same (he: 21%, she: 20%). The Trump support was consistent among all age groups, and there was little difference between people who closely follow sports or who don’t at all.
“Some of Trump’s campaign themes fit into the competitiveness of sports,” said Gentile, noting his fondness for declaring winners and losers.
The Final Four is the sports event most anticipated by the public at this time, with 39% citing it, with 29% citing baseball’s Opening Day, and 14% the Masters golf tournament.
And when asked which they are following more closely, only 20% cited the NCAA tournament, while 68% named either the Republican (44%) or Democratic (24%) primaries as most closely followed. And despite all the talk of “filling out a bracket,” only 9% of the public says they are participating in polls involving money for this year’s NCAA tournament.
States Should Decide Whether Sports Betting Should Be Legal
On questions of legalized sports gambling, the public overwhelming felt it should be decided at the state level (68% vs. 21% federally regulated), and 63% felt that betting on sports should be legal (vs. 29% opposed).
Download the podcast in which Seth Everett interviews Rick Gentile