Nearly half (49%, 115M) of all American adults are Major League Baseball Fans and 15% (36M) are Avid Fans, according to the new Scarborough Sports Marketing study.

The study also reveals that there is ample opportunity to turn young fans into lifelong MLB enthusiasts as 44% of Generation Y are MLB Fans and 13% are Avid Fans. (view infographic).

Mobile, Internet radio and reality TV are ways to reach Gen Y, the study says.

We’re always interested in demographic data such as this – it always has broader implications than the specific data might suggest at first glance. For one thing, it suggests how to reach Gen Y for any reason and which tools would be effective. Digital marketing during baseball games is likely a great way to connect with a chunk of the Gen Y audience, for instance.

“Generation Y makes up 20% of the American adult population – that’s 46 million people,” says Bill Nielsen, Vice President of Sales for Scarborough Sports Marketing.

“Major League Baseball, MLB teams and advertisers understand how critical it is to continue to reach out to this younger demographic in an effective and efficient way, to build long-term affinity for the sport.”

Almost a third (30 percent) of Gen Y MLB Fans are willing to spend $25-$49 on a single game MLB ticket and 12% are interested in purchasing season tickets.

Gen Y MLB Fans are also 37% more likely than all MLB Fans to have bought MLB apparel with a team logo in the past 12 months. Retail spaces also offer an opportunity for fan outreach as more than half (56%) of Gen Y MLB Fans shopped at a sporting goods store in the past three months.

They use mobile, Internet radio, Twitter

Where can Gen Y MLB Fans be reached? They are 54% more likely than all MLB Fans to have used a mobile device to read a newspaper in the past 30 days, 84% more likely to have listened to internet radio in the past 30 days and 22% more likely than all MLB Fans to typically watch reality TV.

Gen Y MLB Fans are more than twice as likely as all MLB Fans to have visited Twitter in the past 30 days, 59% more likely to have read or contributed to a blog in the past 30 days and 68% more likely to have watched video clips online in the same time period.

Gen Y MLB Fans are 131% more likely than all MLB Fans to have visited Hulu.com in the past 30 days and 65% more likely to have visited YouTube.com in the same time frame.

“Generation Y is so active on Twitter and Facebook that any modern marketing campaign is incomplete without a social component,” continues Nielsen. “With youthful initiatives like the MLB Fan Cave in New York City and increased social media efforts, the league, teams and advertisers can reach younger audiences in the spaces where they are most engaged.”

Gen Y MLB Fans can also be found participating in a variety of different athletic and entertainment activities.

Gen Y MLB Fans are twice as likely as all MLB Fans to have played soccer, football or basketball in the past 12 months and 66% more likely to have played softball or baseball in the same time frame. They are also twice as likely to have attended an R&B/Rap/Hip-Hop concert and 49% more likely to have visited a comedy club in the past year.

Gen Y MLB Fans are 23% more likely than all MLB Fans to be Black/African American and 83% more likely to be Hispanic. The top local markets for Gen Y MLB Fans are Milwaukee (76% of Gen Y are MLB fans); Philadelphia (70%); Hartford, C.T. (66%); St. Louis (66%) and Albany, N.Y. (62%).

Looking at the two teams that play in the season opener, Gen Y makes up 21% of the total St. Louis population and 18% of theMiami population. 72% of Gen Y St. Louis residents watched, attended or listened to a Cardinals game in the past year and 36% of Gen Y Miami residents watched, attended or listened to a Marlins game in the same time period.

Top Local Markets for Gen Y MLB Fans

DMA% of Gen Y MLB Fans
Milwaukee76
Philadelphia70
Hartford, C.T.66
St. Louis66
Albany, N.Y.62
Boston61
Cincinnati60
Syracuse, N.Y.57
Providence, R.I.57
Minneapolis57

*Scarborough defines the different American generations as Generation Y (age 18-29), Generation X (30-44), Baby Boomers (45-64) and the Silent Generation (65+).

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