ampersand audience demographics

Ampersand Launches ‘Sports Viewer Audience Segments,’ Helping Brands and Agencies

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Live sports programming accounts for more than one-third of all television viewing by U.S. adults, but without access to detailed audience demographics, agencies and multi-location brands tasked with developing targeted ad creatives are largely flying blind. A new capability from the audience-first TV advertising sales company Ampersand has the potential to change that.


Just days after more than 14 million people tuned in to watch the University of Connecticut beat San Diego State in the 2023 NCAA men’s basketball championship, Ampersand is launching Sports Viewer audience segments, a capability that provides brands with access to sports fans’ viewing habits before, during, and after sports games and matches. The feature is designed to allow brands to directly reach sports viewers in an engaged environment and enable brand advertisers to gather insights into these viewers’ behaviors before, during and after sporting events.

“Sports viewers are a huge segment of the TV population. Understanding what content sports viewers engage with outside of a sporting event is a powerful tool for advertisers,” says David Solomon, director of sports partnerships at Ampersand. “Being able to target those passionate fans when they are not watching the game opens up new ways for advertisers to capture that particular sports audience.”

Where is Ampersand getting this data?

Like other data-driven ad firms, Ampersand’s capabilities come from aggregated audience data insights. Solomon says Ampersand’s insights are authenticated and pooled from 42 million households. That gives Ampersand one of the largest pools in the industry.

Brand advertisers will now be able to select an audience — for example, College Football, College Basketball, or NFL — and create a “ranker” for any market to show that audience segment. Ranking options include things like “viewing time between broadcast and cable,” or “viewing percentage between dayparts.” Each audience segment provides advertisers with insights to make informed decisions, while reaching their target audiences no matter where they are in the consumer journey.

“Reorienting some of the most important audience segments—for example NFL Viewer [and] College Basketball viewer—allows Ampersand to provide unique insights into a fan’s entire TV journey,” Solomon explains. “We are no longer tied to a particular event.” 

With access to insights about sports fans’ viewing habits, multi-location brands and agencies can develop campaigns that better resonate with consumers in their target demographics.

“Ampersand is a TV company for the modern marketer … By representing the largest share of television inventory across multiscreen environments, supported by the richest set of actionable data and insights in the industry, we are bringing the power and precision of the digital realm into the scale, prestige and reliability of TV,” Solomon says. “This initiative is just one example of how we help guide the industry into the future.”

Brands Covet Sports Viewers

According to Nielsen, 94 of the top 100 programs shown on broadcast TV in the past year were sports, and so were 69 of the top 100 viewed shows on cable. One-third of all linear TV ad revenue now comes from live sports programming.

“We are just scratching the surface with ways Ampersand can generate unique insights based on sports viewership data,” Solomon says. 

Being able to addressably target audience segments allows for unique advertising campaigns. As an example, Solomon says Ampersand clients can now capture the anticipation and excitement of fans leading up to major sports events, like the Super Bowl. Following that, they can target the specific event to double down on fan engagement.

“We’re taking tremendous strides to remove the guessing or estimating out of audience planning,” he says. “We’re able to leverage our data set to optimize toward potentially missed or underexposed audiences.”

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.