March Madness is Mobile Madness: 66% of Smartphone/Tablet Owners Plan to Follow the Tournament at Work Using Mobile Apps

SOASTA has announced the results of its March Madness Second Screen Survey. As industry leaders in cloud testing for mobile and web apps, SOASTA commissioned the study – fielded among 2,040 US adults ages 18 and older –to highlight the importance over the performance of websites and mobile apps during the NCAA Division I college basketball tournament, often described as the Super Bowl of college sports. In fact, SOASTA discovered that 26 percent of Smartphone/Tablet Owners fear that problems with websites and mobile sites will prevent them from enjoying March Madness – with 38 percent of adults 18-34 the most concerned about web and mobile sites not working for the basketball series.

Fears over websites and apps not working is a problem because 66 percent of employed smartphone/tablet owners plan to check apps for March Madness updates at work. Of those that are employed and follow March Madness, more than a third (38 percent) expect to check apps for tournament updates more than one to two times while at work, while a full 36 percent plan to check apps for the latest scores as many as nine times during the tournament. More than a quarter (26 percent) expects to check their March Madness related apps more than 10 times.

During the workday, those that follow March Madness on their mobile device plan to sneak-a-peek of the tournament at the following times:

· During breaks – 74 percent

· During Downtime – 63 percent

· While eating – 61 percent

· When commuting to/from work – 27 percent

· During conference calls – 14 percent

· During meetings – 12 percent

· While receiving a performance review – 4 percent

· While my boss is talking – 3 percent

· While giving an employee a performance review – 2 percent

When asked how smartphone/tablet apps make March Madness a better experience, fans cited the following reasons:

• Live updates – 41 percent

• Makes mobile brackets easier – 29 percent

• Easily access team and player information – 27 percent

• Provides important information such as injury reports – 19 percent

• Ease of multitasking while keeping track of the tournament – 18 percent

• Easier to connect with others following the tournament – 15 percent

• Easier to gloat about the successes of their bracket – 15 percent

• Allows users to gamble from anywhere – 8 percent

Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of smartphone/tablet owning March Madness fans plan to use two or more devices simultaneously to follow the tournament, including some combination of smartphone, television, laptop, tablet, and desktop PCs.

SOASTA’s data backs up its January findings showing that second screen has become an essential component of the experience when following sports, especially among younger demographics. Fifty-four percent of employed millennial men smartphone/tablet users (aged 18-34) plan to check apps during work and 44 percent of men and women in that age group plan to do so. Surprisingly, more millennial men smartphone/tablet users are likely to use gambling apps (7 percent) than men age 45-64 (1 percent).

This survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of SOASTA from February 28 to March 4, 2014 among 2,040 adults aged 18 and older. Of that sample, 1,473 are smartphone/tablet users and 1,213 are employed within the United States. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

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