February 04, 2015 13:43 ET

Inside the Brain Waves of the Fantasy Football Fanatic

MEC and Brainsights Release Findings From Neurological Study of Fantasy Football Players

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - Feb 4, 2015) - Global media agency MEC,, and Brainsights, a Toronto-based consumer research and strategy firm, today released findings from a neurological study which recorded and evaluated the bio-metric brain wave activity of 30 adults (Male and Females, ages 21-55) to measure levels of engagement with a range of content.

While Super Bowl XLIX has come to a close, the football season is not over in the minds of fans, specifically the Fantasy Football fan. According to the study, conducted in partnership with Molson Coors, the Fantasy Football fanatic commits more than 17% more attention to and connects 8% more deeply to Fantasy Football than the Football itself; offering marketers and brands an opportunity to connect with these hard-to-reach consumers heading into the April draft.

The study used electroencephalograph (EEG), which records brain wave activity every 2 milliseconds and reveals at a granular level how the subconscious mind responds to advertising and entertainment. Participants were measured against three key metrics -- Attention, Emotional Connection and Memory Encoding -- to determine the optimal trigger points of emotional engagement. A questionnaire also detailed participant's interests and behaviors.

Overall, the findings revealed that space tangential to sports game content cannot only provide an efficient and cost-effective way to connect with hard-to-reach consumers, it can connect even more deeply with them.

Commenting on the study, Claus Burmeister, Strategy Director, MEC Toronto, said, "Today's always on consumer is bombarded with messages at every touch point, making it challenging to effectively attract and retain attention. MEC is excited to be one of the first to pioneer neuro-measurement analysis to get to the heart of what drives consumer engagement, both physically and emotionally. Just as Fantasy Football has changed the way consumers of football watch and consume their beloved sport, so has the way in which marketers connect with their core audience. By measuring consumers' subconscious, brands have the ability to move beyond the data points and clicks, to truly understand and quantify their target's passion points, and efficiently drive ROI."

Other key findings included:

  • Heavy players pay 33% more attention to Fantasy Football content than non-players, and 44% more than Light players of Fantasy Football.
  • Heavy players commit only 6% more attention to game action content than non-players, and 25% more than Light players.
  • Heavy players connected more emotionally with content that shared their 'injury pain' (i.e. commentary over injured players); whereas light players were far more interested in content centered around rivalry and competitiveness
  • Trash talking is a common feature of Fantasy Football playing, but heavy players of Fantasy Football are far more interested in research strategy. They commit more than 50% more attentional resources when consuming research strategy content than to content with trash talking. Furthermore, they encode 41% more of this content to memory.
  • Players of Fantasy Football (both Heavy and Light) did not express strong interest with content about 'winning'.

About MEC
MEC is committed to growth. Growth for our people, our clients and our industry. MEC pushes the boundaries of what's possible in order to thrive in ~ Ad Ops ~ Analytics ~ Brand Partnerships ~ Content Marketing ~ Data ~ Insight ~ Integrated Planning ~ Mobile ~ Multi-cultural ~ Performance Marketing ~ Planning & Buying ~ Programmatic ~ Search ~ Social ~ Sport, Entertainment & Cause Marketing. Our 5,000 highly talented and motivated people work with category leading advertisers in 93 countries and we are a founding partner of GroupM. To find out more, visit us at #dontjustlivethrive

About Brainsights
Brainsights is a Toronto-based consumer research and strategy firm, which uses its proprietary neuro-measurement platform to understand how consumer and audience brains respond to marketing and communication. We then translate this brain data into communications performance evaluation, consumer insight and strategic advice for leading agencies, brands and media companies to power lasting business growth.

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