Hitting the snack bar and the souvenir shop used to be the biggest activities for fans at a sporting event, aside from actually watching the competition. Well, loading up on food and drink, and snagging a hat or t-shirt are still important parts of the on-site experience, but fans might have more pressing matters on hand.
A new survey of smartphone or tablet owners who attend sporting events reveals some interesting breakdowns on how fans spend their time during the game. The most popular activity was texting, with 59 percent of fans saying they did this during games. Taking pictures with their mobile device was second with 58 percent.
The fans who answered the survey also said they used their devices for Facebook (47 percent), to check, to make phone calls (40 percent), check/send email (35 percent), check other sports scores (20 percent), connect with other friends in the stadium (15 percent) and engage on Twitter (15 percent).
But all this digital engagement isn't all fun and games. The biggest gripe among these users? Well, 22 percent complained they can't hear the caller. Also on the list of frustrations: Poor battery life (17 percent), weak signal/dropped signal (17 percent) and a slow data download (14 percent).
If fans can't make it to the game, the smartphone/tablet is becoming more of a viewing option with apps and equipment like Slingbox. Eighteen percent of the fans in the survey said they used their device for live sports viewing. And the percentage is likely to grow with 41 percent saying they would be interested in doing this.
But smartphones and tablets haven't quite displaced the local bookie for those fans who enjoy spicing up the action. Just 5 percent of owners admit to using their device to place a bet.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon Mobile Consumer Survey was conducted by Ipsos among 1,500 U.S. residents within the ages of 18–50 who are the primary owners/users of smartphones and tablets.