Off to the Races: The 2012 Breeders’ Cup is Around the Bend!

As the best horses in the world descend upon Santa Anita Park in Los Angeles, CA for the Breeders’ Cup® races on November second and third, horse racing fans are excited for two days of racing.  Scarborough Sports Marketing takes a closer look at the audience demographics of Breeders’ Cup Viewers*.

Of all sports measured by Scarborough, horse racing has one of the highest female ratios as some 49 percent are Horse Racing Fans**. Breeders’ Cup Viewers, however, skew a bit more male (60%) compared to female (40%).  They are older than average American adults (median age 54 vs. 47) and have a higher household income (median $56K vs. $51K).

Scarborough’s analysis may come to no surprise as the top two markets for Breeders’ Cup Viewers in the past year are Louisville and Lexington, both in the state of Kentucky.  The third market is the Albany, NY DMA*** home to the long popular Saratoga Race Course.  Los Angeles, CA home to Santa Anita Park–this year’s Breeders’ Cup host– is also home to over two million Horse Racing Fans (18% of total LA adults).

In terms of the owners and horses that compete, the Breeders’ Cup is truly an international sporting event and the U.S. viewership shows an international slant.  In the past three years, 13 percent of Breeders’ Cup Viewers went on a cruise and they are 31 percent more likely to have made three or more business trips outside the continental U.S.  Favored destinations among this group include the Caribbean (13%), Mexico (11%) and Canada (10%).

When one thinks of signature horse racing events, one also tends to think of fashion and where people shop.  Breeders’ Cup Viewers are 88 percent more likely than all U.S. adults to have shopped at Brooks Brothers for clothing in the past three months, and 53 percent more likely to have spent $500 or more on men’s business clothing in the past year.  They are 21 percent more likely to have shopped at Saks Fifth Avenue in the past three months, and 23 percent more likely to have spent $500 or more on fine jewelry in the past year.

Finally, with the races finishing just three days before Election Day, how do Breeders’ Cup Viewers look in terms of voting and party preference?  Compared to U.S. adults, Breeders’ Cup Viewers are 18 percent more likely to be Independent and 15 percent more likely to identify themselves as Independent/leaning Republican.

Democrats lead the race among of Breeders’ Cup Viewers, at twenty-nine percent, followed by Republicans (25%), then Independents (12%) and none of the above (14%).  Of the remaining Breeders’ Cup Viewers, they are neck and neck Independents; 10 percent lean towards Democrat, and 10 percent lean towards Republican.  A significant eighty percent always vote in presidential elections—14 percent more likely than all U.S. Adults.

Scarborough Sports Marketing looks forward to a great weekend of racing.  And they’re off!

*Scarborough defines Breeders’ Cup Viewers as adults who have watched Breeders’ Cup on TV within the past 12 months

** Scarborough defines Horse Racing Fans as those who have identified themselves as having an interest in horse racing

***Designated Market Area (DMA) is a trademark of The Nielsen Company

SOURCE: Scarborough USA+ Study, Release 1, 2012

To learn more about horse racing or other sports, follow us on Twitter (@scarbsports) or email us today!

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