By: Maria Brown
How men and women, especially those with children under age 18, spend their leisure time has changed over the last 50 years. For the entrepreneur whose product or service falls within a disposable income, leisure time category, watching these trends and addressing a niche may be crucial to success.
The Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world, publishes data that is readily available for quick review of the facts. For example, men without children spend 37 hours per week on leisure time activities; but with children, men drop to 28 hours per week on these activities. Women without children spend 32 hours per week on leisure time pursuits compared to 25 hours per week for women with children under age 18.
In its Modern Parenthood Report of March 2013, Pew provides other information about time spent with children, working, and sentiments about how time is spent from over 120,000 people surveyed. The study states, “About half (53%) of all working parents with children under age 18 say it is difficult for them to balance the responsibilities of their job with the responsibilities of their family. There is no significant gap in attitudes between mothers and fathers: 56% of mothers and 50% of fathers say juggling work and family life is difficult for them.”
Are parents busy attending their children’s youth sports events? The Wall Street Journal published: “Combined participation in the four most-popular U.S. team sports—basketball, soccer, baseball and football—fell among boys and girls aged 6 through 17 by roughly 4% from 2008 to 2012, according to an examination of data from youth leagues, school-sports groups and industry associations ... Even soccer, which has seen strong gains in recent decades, shows signs its numbers are stagnating. The high-school federation reports that soccer participation was up 7.4% in the 2012-13 season from 2008-09. But the United States Soccer Federation, which governs U.S. youth soccer leagues other than school-based leagues, says its youth soccer participation was flat between 2008 and 2012.”
Commentary to these statistics included a trend of youth to stay at home and play video games, worries of injuries from highly publicized concussions, deaths, and long term effects of contact sports, and too much focus on achieving Olympic status removing the fun from sports.
Yet interest in sports is high. Appboy, a mobile marketing company, states sports app utilization grew 210% in the last year.
So what is the sports or leisure-time entrepreneur to do to produce solid growth?
- Researching the market and understanding their needs and wants, time constraints, and disposable income availability is key prior to business launch.
- Reaching customers through quick, electronic, social media outlets is currently a marketing must.
- Understanding demographic trends including age, gender, parental status, working status, and emotional sentiments can also provide insights for segmenting and targeting products or services.
Sources mentioned in this post can provide excellent data for the entrepreneur to further understand his or her customers, both now and in the future!