Mar
23
2011

Cinderella Teams Have Contrasting Styles Both on the Court and in the Marketplace

Spiders, Rams, Seminoles, Golden Eagles, and Bulldogs. This is one way to describe the diverse collection of Cinderella teams that have advanced to the Sweet 16 in this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Four of these teams, the University of Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Florida State, and Marquette, take their double-digit seeds to the next round in hopes of reaching the Elite 8. Butler, last year’s Cinderella story, is seeking a visit to the Final Four for the second straight year. 

Interestingly, Richmond, VA is the home market for two of the Sweet 16 teams. These are the University of Richmond and VCU. Even more interesting is the fact that these two teams are on a collision course. With wins in the next round they would meet in the Elite 8 for a prized spot in the Final Four.

With their surprise victories in the tournament so far, what these teams have in common is being labeled “bracket busters.” A more extensive market analysis uncovers other similarities, plus some notable differences.

Here are highlights from profiles of the home market areas for this year’s Cinderella teams using data from Experian’s Mosaic consumer lifestyle segmentation system and Experian Simmons market research. The following statistics are based on the home markets of the five Cinderella teams.

  • All four Cinderella teams hail from markets with above average interest in college basketball. 
  • Milwaukee, home of 11th seeded Marquette, has the highest concentration of adults who are interested in college basketball (28.1%). This is 11 percent relatively higher than percentage for the total U.S. Milwaukee also has the highest percentage of adults who said they watched last year’s men’s NCAA Division I tournament (17.3%). This is a relative six percent higher than the total U.S. 
  • The 10th seeded Florida State Seminoles hail from Tallahassee, which has the second highest percentage of adults with an interest in college basketball (26.9%).
  • Richmond, where both 11th seeded VCU and 12th seeded Richmond are based, is just behind Tallahassee when it comes to the percentage of adults who are interested in college basketball (26.7%).
  • Indianapolis has the lowest percent of residents who are interested in college basketball (26.3%), but that’s still a relative four percent higher than the U.S. as a whole.
  • Although interest should be very high this year, Richmond and Indianapolis (15.8% each) have the lowest percentage of adults who watched last year’s tournament.

Cinderella Team Market Snapshots

Richmond, VA
Home market of: Richmond Spiders, VCU Rams
Sweet 16 opponents: Kansas, Florida State

The top two segments in Richmond representing 30% of the market’s households are:

  1. Metro Minority Communities (18.1%) comprised of married couples and single-parent minorities earning above average incomes from a mix of service industry and white-collar jobs in transportation, health care, education, and public administration.
  2. Urban Commuter Families (11.5%) comprised of upscale, college educated Baby Boomer families and couples living in single detached homes in city neighborhoods on the metropolitan fringe.

Other interesting facts:

  • Most over-represented segment is Metro Minority Communities (3.8 times the national average)
  • Percent of adults with interest in college basketball is 26.7%
  • Percent of adults who watched last year’s men’s college basketball tournament is 15.8%

Tallahassee, FL
Home market of: Florida State Seminoles
Sweet 16 opponent: VCU Rams

Similar to Richmond, the top two segments in Tallahassee are Metro Minority Communities (14.8%) and Urban Commuter Families (6.9%). The two segments that account for the next highest share of households are:

  1. Struggling City Centers (6.7%) comprised of young, single and single-parent minority renters living in low-income city neighborhoods.
  2. Rural Southern Living (6.5%) comprised of lower-income blue-collar couples and families living in sparsely settled mobile home communities.

Other interesting facts:

  • Most over-represented market segment is College Town Communities (6.2 times the national average)
  • Percent of adults with interest in college basketball is 26.9%
  • Percent of adults who watched last year’s men’s college basketball tournament is 16.8%

Milwaukee, WI
Home market of: Marquette Golden Eagles
Sweet 16 opponent: North Carolina Tarheels

The top segment in Milwaukee representing 11.2% of households is Urban Commuter Families (as described above). The two segments that account for the next highest share of households are:

  1. Small-town Success (10.5%) comprised of white collar, college educated, middle-aged working couples living in newly developed subdivisions outside the nation’s beltways.
  2. Steadfast Conservative (9.3%) comprised of high-school educated mature singles and couples living in middle-class urban blue-collar neighborhoods.

Other interesting facts:

  • Most over-represented market segment is Successful Suburbia (3.6 times the national average)
  • Percent of adults with interest in college basketball is 28.1%
  • Percent of adults who watched last year’s men’s college basketball tournament is 17.3%

Indianapolis, IN
Home market of: Butler Bulldogs
Sweet 16 opponent: Wisconsin Badgers

There are four equal size segments that account for just over 30% of Indianapolis households. These include Steadfast Conservative (8.9%), Urban Commuter Families (7.8%), and Small-town Success (7.1%). All three of these segments are also among the top five in Richmond, Tallahassee, and Milwaukee.

What makes Indianapolis unique from the other three markets is a higher percentage of New Suburbia Families (7.2%). These are young, affluent working couples with pre-school children concentrated in fast-growing, metro fringe communities.

Other interesting facts:

  • Most over-represented market segment is Successful Suburbia (2.8 times the national average)
  • Percent of adults with interest in college basketball is 26.3%
  • Percent of adults who watched last year’s men’s college basketball tournament is 15.8%

Comment are closed.