Madden NFL: Building a Better Football Fan

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A new study conducted by the University of Oregon’s Warsaw Sports Marketing Center has determined that people who are fans of the Madden NFL series also tend to be more avid, devoted and knowledgeable fans of the NFL.

Building on a study conducted in 2008, this year’s update to the great scientific inquiry looked at more than 9000 Madden NFL players and football fans, testing their knowledge of the game across five categories: Game Situations, General Knowledge, History, Rules and Business of Sport. Consumption habits were also examined through questions on viewing habits, live game attendance and purchases of NFL-related products.

The two parts of the survey were then combined to create a “fan avidity score,” which was then examined to determine “the correlation of time spent playing Madden NFL and being a passionate football fan.” And there is indeed a correlation: The more hours a person spends with Madden NFL, the more likely he or she is to be a devoted fan of the real thing.

The survey found that Madden NFL players consume 35 percent more football content, through viewing, game attendance and product purchases, than non-players. Further, a full 42 percent of Madden NFL fans say they “never” miss a football game because of other activities, compared to only 12 percent of non-Madden players.

Madden NFL fans also watch more football and football-related television, attend more games and are more knowledgeable about the sport than non-gamers; for instance, 63 percent of Madden NFL fans could correctly define the term “injured reserve, compared to only 48 percent of non-fans.

“We delved into the relationship that the Madden NFL game forges with real football, and the study proved that it runs very deep,” said Warsaw Sports Marketing Center Managing Director Paul Swangard. “Madden NFL fans are not only extremely knowledgeable about the game of football, they are equally as passionate. Twenty-one years of the Madden NFL franchise has created a smarter and more devoted football fan.”

I’m not convinced that encouraging people to strip half-naked, paint themselves various colors and slap giant wedges of cheese on their heads really qualifies as making them “smarter,” but hey, what do I know? I’m no scientist.

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