The 2012 Olympic Games are just now kicking off in London. The estimated 10,500 athletes will be competing in 302 events in 26 sports. I thought it would be interesting to look at who in the US participates in some of those sports and where they live. Obviously, not everyone has the ability to become an Olympic athlete – but many of us have had those dreams even if we can’t turn them into reality. And maybe an Olympian comes from your neighborhood.
This is a 2-part series looking various sports in the London Olympic Games and who in the US participates in them.
Archery is a sport I know very little about – other than people shoot arrows at a target (I did see Hunger Games after all). I think maybe I did try archery once a camp, but clearly none of my knowledge stuck. In the US, just about 2% of the population participates in archery. This research was done prior to Hunger Games, so that may increase in the future as girls may want to grow up to be Katniss.
In the Olympics, South Korea has typically dominated the sport, but the US has made a good showing as well. Where are people in the US who most likely participate in archery? The zip code with the highest index is 29424, which is located in Charleston, SC. That area has an index for archery of 512. This means that people who live there are 5.12 times more likely than the average American to participate in archery. Other areas with high indices for archery are areas around the Midwest as well in states like Idaho, Oregon and, and Indiana.
What type of person is typically most likely to participate in archery? What type is least likely? We can use Tapestry Segmentation to classify consumers. Esri, a geographic information systems company which also does data analysis, developed the Tapestry Segmentation system that classifies US residential neighborhoods into 65 unique market segments based on socioeconomic and demographic characteristics. The segments whose neighborhoods have an index of 200 or higher for archery participation, meaning they are at least 2 times more likely than the average American to participate in archery, are Dorms to Diplomas, Rustbelt Traditions, and Military Proximity. Rustbelt Traditions neighborhoods, for example, are the backbone of older industrial cities in the Great Lakes border states. Many residents live in modest, single-family homes built before 1960. Many of these residents have lived, worked, shopped, and played in their same neighborhood their whole lives.
Not everyone is into archery. In fact, there are several tapestry groups that have an index of 50 or below for participating in archery. This means they are ½ as likely (or less) as the average American to participate in archery. These segments are: City Dimensions, City Lights, City Strivers, Connoisseurs, High Rise Renters, Industrious Urban Fringe, International Marketplace, Modest Income Homes, NeWest Residents, Pleasant-Ville, Urban Chic, Urban Melting Pot, Urban Rows, and Wealthy Seaboard Suburbs. These segments are from a variety of LifeMode and Urbanization group. One common theme among LifeMode groups is that many of these segments are from Global Roots, a very diverse LifeMode segment. 75% of Global Roots neighborhoods have an index of 50 or less for participating in archery.
Many people are drawn to horses – whether it be their beauty or their quickness. The equestrian events at the Olympics go far beyond the casual horseback riding that many us of did as a kid at the zoo – though you could say it is in the same family of sports.
In the US, 2.3% of the population participates in horseback riding. Many of those people, not surprisingly, live in the western part of the United States. People most likely to participate in horseback riding live in the plain states as there are lots of land. There are pockets in the northeast of people who like to go horseback riding.
One of the zip codes with the highest index of likely horseback riders is 57430, which is Britton, South Dakota. The index here is 267 meaning people living in this zip code are 2.67 times more likely than the average American to go horseback riding.
What type of people are the most likely to go horseback riding? There are three tapestry groups where the index for the likelihood to go horseback riding is 200 or higher: College Towns, Prairie Living, and Rural Resort Dwellers. Prairie Living residents, for example, typically live in single, family-owned farms in the Midwest. They have a median age of 42.9 years and 9 out of 10 residents are white.
Of course, not everyone goes horseback riding. There are several tapestry groups whose neighborhoods have an index of 50 or less for the likelihood of horseback riding. That means they are 50% (or more) less likely to go horseback riding than the average American. These groups are: High Rise Renters, Industrious Urban Fringe, Inner City Tenants, International Marketplace, Las Casa, and NeWest Residents.
The dominant Lifemode among these tapestry segments is Global Roots. LifeMode Groups are characterized by lifestyle and lifestage and share an experience such as being born in the same time period or a trait such as affluence. 79% of all Global Roots neighborhoods have an index of 50 or less of horseback riding. These neighborhoods are very diverse. Residents are young, earn modest incomes, and tend to rent in multiunit buildings.
Swimming was a big part of my childhood. Growing up in a Bakersfield, California with summer days that reached 100 degrees or higher on a regular basis, swimming was an essential part of summer vacation. It wasn’t quite the same as an Olympic swimming event – but there were definitely dreams of that. Not everyone participates in swimming though. About 14.8% of adults in the US participate in swimming.
The areas with a higher likelihood of swimming are in the west, eastern seaboard, and Hawaii (I would hope!). Two of the zip codes with the highest indices for the likelihood of swimming are 10069 and 10282 – both in New York City. Their index is 150 meaning residents of those areas are 1.5 times more likely than the average American to participate in swimming.
The tapestry segment most likely to participate in swimming is Laptops and Lattes. The index for these neighborhoods is 150. Residents of Laptops and Lattes neighborhoods enjoy single life in the big city. Most households are singles who live alone or with a roommate. They are very affluent; the median household income of $84,612.
Not everyone is a swimmer. There are several segments where all of the neighborhoods in those segments have an index of 50 or less. These are: City Commons, City Strivers, Family Foundations, High Rise Renters, Las Casas, Metro City Edge, Modest Income Homes, and NeWest Residents. Many of these segments are part of the Principal Urban Centers II Urbanization group. Urbanization Groups are based on geographic and physical features such as population density, size of city, location in or outside a metropolitan area, and whether it is part of the economic and social center of a metropolitan area. Principal Urban Centers II represents the aspiring populations of the country’s largest cities. This is the youngest and most diverse Urbanization group. The median age is 30.1.
Shooting has been part of almost every modern Olympics. There are 15 shooting in the 2012 London Olympics. Overall, the US has won the most Olympic medals in the sport. In the US, about 2.9% of US adults participate in target shooting. The people most likely to participate in the sport live in the extreme northeast and northwest parts of the US.
The tapestry segment most likely to participate in Target Shooting is Rural Resort. 94% of neighborhoods that where this segment dominates have an index of 200 or more. This means that residents in these neighborhoods are at least 2 times more likely than the average American to participate in target shooting. These neighborhoods are found in pastoral settings in rural nonfarm areas throughout the United States. The median age is 49.4 years; more than half are aged 55 and older. Most residents are white in these low-diversity neighborhoods.
Some tapestry groups have residents who are much less likely to participate in tapestry segments. The neighborhoods dominated by the segments City Lights, City Strivers, Metro City Edge, Modest Income homes, Trendsetters, and Urban Rows have an index of 50 or less for Target Shooting. These means that residents of these neighborhoods are ½ as likely (or less) to participate in Target Shooting as the average American. Many of these segments are part of the LifeMode Metropolis. Residents of Metropolis live and work in America’s cities. They live in older, single-family homes or row houses built in the 1940s or earlier. Many rely on public transportation and commute to service-related jobs.
Over 9% of US adults participate in weightlifting. This is not quite the weightlifting of the Olympics though. Olympians are lifting 300 pounds or more. I can’t even imagine doing that. My weightlifting, like most Americans who participate in this activity, is likely resistance machines at the gym – though I’m sure some do the “heavy” lifting too.
The people that are most likely to participate in weightlifting live along the eastern seaboard and in the western part of the US. The zip code 06269 has one of the highest indexes for likelihood to participate in weightlifting is 06269, which is Storrs Mansfield, CT, the location of University of Connecticut. The index here is 217 meaning a resident in 06269 is 2.17 times more likely than the average American to participate in weightlifting.
The tapestry segments with residents most likely to participate in weightlifting are Dorms to Diplomas and Metro Renters. Neighborhoods where these segments are dominant have an index of 200 or higher meaning they are at least 2 times more likely than the average American to participate in weightlifting. Residents of these segments are very young and likely have a lot of time to go to the gym.
Not everyone is into weightlifting. Residents of neighborhoods where City Dimensions, City Commons, Modest Income Homes, NeWest Residents, Prairie Living, Rooted Rural, Rural Bypasses, and Southern Satellites are dominant have an index of 50 or less. This means a resident in these segments are ½ as likely (or less) to participate in weightlifting. I’m sure they are just participating in other sports. One common trait of many of these segments is that many are part of the Urbanization group Rural II. Residents of Rural II live in rural farms, in the country, or in small villages. Many work in mining or manufacturing. I’m guessing they don’t need the gym.
Why Does This Matter?
Understanding the activities of consumers can help businesses target potential customers. Consumers who like swimming – or dislike swimming – may be interested in a certain product or service or movie. This information especially at the local level and aid in advertising or determining where to open a new store that targets a particular type of customer.