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High School Sports | Bringing Communities Together

Next week marks the start of the fall high school sports season for many schools in New York State. According to NCSA, about 8 million students participate in high school sports every year. In boys high school sports, football, outdoor track and field and basketball are the most popular, respectively. In girls high school sports, outdoor track and field, volleyball and basketball are the most popular, respectively.


Within the vast majority of communities across the country, high school sports news is covered by local media outlets. Print and television news mediums work to communicate results of games, meets and competitions and raise the profile of athletes, coaches and athletic programs as a whole. News outlets spend a great deal of time covering high school sports due to the fact that these events are not only an integral part life for school districts and the parents of children under 18 years of age, but are also an important facet of the community as a whole. In the Capital Region, the Times Union provides unrivaled in-depth coverage of all of Section II sports – regardless of the size of the school. Such coverage is widely viewed by a diverse audience.


According to Scarborough data, in the Capital Region, about 143,000 residents are somewhat or very interested in high school sports. However, only 35.6% of these individuals have children under the age of 18. Furthermore, about 197,000 Capital Region residents have attended a high school sports event in the past year. Again, less than fifty percent of these individuals (40.8%, to be exact) have children under the age of 18.


Why the investment in high school sports if you’re not actively cheering on your own child or relative? Sports are a way for people to unite. People from different backgrounds and different communities can come together to cheer for different teams and participate in the thrill of watching students play the sport that is a large part of their overall high school experience.


The Monetary Aspect of High School Sports


While comradery is key in high school sports, so too is the monetary investments that make play possible. According to Ohio University’s Athletic Administration Program, interscholastic sports has become an industry worth roughly $5 billion a year. In the United States, parents spend an average of $671 per year to cover the costs associated with high school sports. This includes, uniforms, additional coaching, equipment, travel, etc. For many families, this expenditure is outside the realm of possibility. According to the University of Michigan Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health, 51% of students in families that earned $60,000 or more per year played high school sports, whereas only 30% of students in families that earned less than $60,000 played high school sports.


While high school sports are costly, parents continue to make sacrifices for their children to participate. According to the same study conducted by Ohio University, participation in high school sports leads to traits that last throughout an individual’s life. For example, high school sports participants are twice as likely as non-athletes to have any postsecondary education, they possess significantly higher levels of leadership and self-confidence and are more likely to earn higher salaries by the age of 30 than non-athletes.


Reaching This Audience


With data to suggest that high school sports are a great community builder, a financially lucrative industry and worth the investment by parents to ensure their children’s future success, it is clear that getting your business in front of this audience is a great marketing investment.


In the Capital Region, more than 51% of those who have attended a high school sports event in the past year have a household income of $75,000 or more (about 101,000 total individuals). In addition, roughly 36% of Capital Region residents who attended such a sporting event in the past year had a household income of $100,000 or more (about 71,000 total individuals).


As the region’s number one news source, the Times Union is proud to offer a new high school sports sponsorship opportunity to assist your business get in front of Capital Region residents who have a strong interest in interscholastic sports with a propensity to buy. For businesses within the automotive, hospitality and financial sectors, the Times Union’s high school sports sponsorship can serve to lift brand awareness, better connect your organization with the community and through the general feelings of connectedness that come with sporting events, provide fans and parents a reason to take note of your business.


Below, we’ve highlighted a few business sectors that are of great interest to those invested in high school sports in the Capital Region:

Automotive – 59,903 Capital Region high school sports fans plan to purchase a new vehicle within the next year

Grocery – 88,635 Capital Region high school sports fans spend $200 or more each week on groceries

Home Services – 58,921 Capital Region high school sports fans are planning a home improvement project in the next year

Restaurant/Hospitality – 172,118 Capital Region high school sports fans have visited a restaurant within the past month (87.3%!)


In Conclusion


Many high schools in the Capital Region are located in the heart of the community they serve. High school sports draw together individuals, families and businesses in an effort to support those who pursue opportunities outside of the classroom.


Event attendance and high school sport interest is an uplifting experience that affords organizations the opportunity to tap into an engaged, invested audience that cares not only for the students on the field, but the businesses off of the field that make the pre and post event prep and celebrations possible.


Learn more today about how the Times Union can help connect your business with such an audience to raise your profile in the community.



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