President Donald Trump and Fox Sports Radio host Clay Travis have been working closely together to push for the return of Big Ten Football this fall. Now that those teams are set to return to the gridiron October 24, Mr. Trump appeared on Thursday’s edition of Outkick The Coverage to discuss his role in the Big Ten football revival and several other topics in a nearly half hour segment.
“I’m really proud of it. (Big Ten resuming play),” Mr. Trump said. “It was totally dead. So I called (Big Ten Commissioner) Kevin Warren and said ‘we will help with testing or whatever, but we need to get those kids and those teams back on the field.’ These are great football states and it would have been very unfair to players because it might have been their last chance to showcase their skills to the NFL. Once we got things started, players and parents got behind it. They didn’t give up and it culminated in us getting it done.”
Mr. Trump hopes that the same will be true of the Pac-12.
“They are really the only ones who aren’t playing now,” he said. “It’s getting a little bit late to start now, but they should be playing football. It’s ridiculous. Now the governors of these states, and some are Democrats, are going to have to come together.”
Mr. Trump then shifts his focus back to the Big Ten and he was not shy about discussing his role in its return.
“If we didn’t get involved, you would not even be talking about Big Ten football right now. Without us, they had no chance to play and they were not go to play,” Mr. Trump bragged. “So I made a couple phone calls and members of my staff worked very hard. And then for political reasons people said I had nothing to do with it. Sometimes I get credit for things I shouldn’t and that’s ok, too. But it is sad. The whole group and me made a lot of calls to get this thing done and then you have a democrat say, ‘they had nothing to do with it’ and they know it’s not true. We were the ones who got it going and we are going to see what we can do with the Pac-12.”
Travis points to an ad from Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden that ran in several states within the Big Ten’s footprint that says, “Trump sidelined sports”.
“Considering all that you have done bringing back Big 10 football, do you think he will apologize?,” Travis asked.
“They have done far worse ads,” Mr. Trump responded. “Ads claiming that I had said horrible things about soldiers who had died which was based on a made up lie and they went with it. That was a real terrible thing to do, he’s a real low-life. That’s why I take off the gloves. Joe’s not mentally equipped to be president.
“When I heard they were running ads that blamed me for the Big Ten not being open. I was like ‘you got to be kidding me.’ I got a hold of the ad and what a lie. They are the most dishonest campaign I have ever seen… They have to cheat to win. That ad activated me to get things done (in regards to football) and a lot of people are happy about it.”
It remains to be seen whether Mr. Trump’s role in the return of Big 10 football will have an impact on voters in Midwestern swing states.
According to a September 16th CNN article, Mr. Trump is still trailing by the same or even greater margins since the Big 10 announced its return to the football field.
16.9% of All Sports Radio Listeners Are Streaming
The news comes as Nielsen reported that 11.3% of all radio listenership comes thru a stream, up from 6.9% in May of 2020.
According to Nielsen, sports radio stations are the third-most streamed spoken word format, just behind Talk/Personality and News/Talk/Info. The trend is continuing to show that streaming is on the uptick.
The survey found that in May 2022, 16.9% of sports talk radio’s audience tunes in via the station’s online stream. That news comes as Nielson reported that 11.3% of all radio listenership comes thru a stream, up from 6.9% in May of 2020.
Nielsen notes that in the 45 PPM markets they are grabbing data from and the 4,800+ stations that stream in those markets, just 30% of them are encoded. That encoding allows for Nielsen to accurately measure the streams. They used the listener data from 1,500 stations across the U.S., in their latest report, AM/FM Radio Streaming Growth in PPM Markets.
The survey also showed that streaming levels differ widely by radio format. Spoken word formats display strong streaming listenership (Talk/Personality: 31.2%, News/Talk/Info: 19.1%, All Sports: 16.9%). In fact, Nielsen found that 1/3 of all AM/FM streaming in PPM markets is to spoken word formats.
New Study Finds Listeners to MLB on Radio Are Willing to Spend
More than one third (34%) of the respondents recently purchased clothing/apparel that features their favorite team… 27% have visited a ballpark in the past year. That compares to only 19% of the average MLB fan base has made an apparel purchase to support their team while just 11% have gone to a game in person in that same time span.
When it comes to advertiser’s attempting to reach an affluent and engaged audience, sports talk radio might have a whale on their hands. Major League Baseball play-by-play features an audience that has money and has no problems spending it.
In a recent MRI-Simmons study, data shows that consumers who listen to MLB broadcasts on the radio are the perfect audience for sports marketers. According to the analysis, done by Katz Radio Group, nearly two thirds (62%) of those surveyed consider themselves “super fans” of baseball. That number is 58% higher than the average.
Those “super fans” are willing to spend to support their team, as well. More than one third (34%) of the respondents recently purchased clothing/apparel that features their favorite team. Those fans are also far more willing to make the trip to see their team. The study found that 27% have visited a ballpark in the past year. That compares to only 19% of the average MLB fan base has made an apparel purchase to support their team while just 11% have gone to a game in person in that same time span.
The news continues getting better for advertisers. Continued analysis reveals that 66% of listeners are currently employed and have a median household income greater than $106,000.
Listeners to MLB games on the radio are also 34% more likely to place a sports bet and 106% more likely to be a participant in fantasy baseball.
Jeff Dean Signs Off At ESPN Tucson for The Final Time
Dean said on Facebook: “…the years of burning the candle at both ends has taken a dire toll on my health and for the first time in my life, I’m going to put myself and my livelihood first”
Fans will no longer be able to tune into ESPN Tucson and hear Jeff Dean hosting his show. Friday morning was his last show, according to his Facebook and Twitter pages.
The Jeff Dean Show had been airing from 7-9a MT weekday mornings. Dean took to social media to relay the news and the reason behind him stepping away from the microphone. Dean said on Facebook:
“This morning I signed off from my radio show on ESPN Tucson for the final time. I have been devoting too much of my life and my time to working multiple jobs…the years of burning the candle at both ends has taken a dire toll on my health and for the first time in my life, I’m going to put myself and my livelihood first”
Dean went on to emphasize that he isn’t stepping away from ESPN Tucson, he’s just taking himself off the air. He also added that “gladly, I will be continuing my position as PA announcer of University of Arizona Football and Men’s basketball.”
Dean would also go onto Twitter to add even further context for his self-removal from the ESPN Tucson airwaves. He added, “It’s not a decision I arrived at hastily, as it’s been a 6 month mental grind to make the ultimate decision that had to be made, and I’m not particularly happy about it, but I have to put my health first, we all do, and make sure we’re around long enough to enjoy life”.
Dean had been ESPN Tucson’s morning host since November 2019.