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March Madness is Mobile Madness: 51% of March Madness Fans Plan to Follow the Tournament at Work Using Mobile Apps

SOASTA, the leader in cloud and mobile testing, today announced the results of its March Madness Second Screen Survey. As the industry leaders in cloud testing for mobile and web apps, SOASTA commissioned Harris Poll to conduct the study online among 2,040 US adults ages 18 and older to highlight the importance of websites and mobile app performance during the NCAA Division I college basketball tournament, often described as the Super Bowl of college sports. In fact, SOASTA discovered that 26 percent of smartphone/tablet owners who follow March Madness fear that problems with websites and/or mobile sites will prevent them from enjoying March Madness – with those 18-34 years old (38 percent) more likely to be concerned about web and mobile sites not working for the basketball tournament than those ages 35 and up (19 percent).

Fears over websites and apps not working is a problem because over half (51 percent) of employed March Madness followers plan to check apps on their smartphone or tablet for March Madness updates at work. More than two in five (41 percent) expect to check apps for tournament updates more than once while at work, while 13 percent plan to check apps for the latest scores as many ten or more times during the tournament.

During the workday, those that follow March Madness on their mobile device plan to sneak-a-peek of the tournament at the following times:

  • During breaks – 74 percent
  • During downtime – 63 percent
  • While eating – 61 percent
  • When commuting to/from work – 27 percent
  • During conference calls – 14 percent
  • During meetings – 12 percent
  • While receiving a performance review – 4 percent
  • While their boss is talking – 3 percent
  • While giving an employee a performance review – 2 percent

When asked how smartphone/tablet apps make March Madness a better experience, fans cited the following ways:

  • Live updates – 41 percent
  • Makes brackets mobile (i.e., easier to manage) – 29 percent
  • Easily access team and player information – 27 percent
  • Provides important facts such as injury reports - 19 percent
  • Ease of multitasking while keeping track of the tournament while at work – 18 percent
  • Easier to connect with peers and other fans following the tournament – 15 percent
  • Easier to gloat about the successes of their bracket – 15 percent
  • Allows users to gamble from anywhere – 8 percent

Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of smartphone/tablet owning March Madness fans plan to use at least two types of devices simultaneously to follow the tournament, including some combination of smartphone, television, laptop, tablet, and desktop PCs.

Fifty-four percent of employed millennial men smartphone/tablet users (aged 18-34) plan to check apps during work and 45 percent of men and women in that age group plan to do so. Surprisingly, millennial male smartphone/tablet users are more likely to say apps allow them to gamble from anywhere (7 percent) than men age 45-64 (1 percent). SOASTA’s data backs up its January findings showing that second screen has become an essential component of the experience when following sports, especially among younger demographics.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of SOASTA from February 28 to March 4, 2014 among 2,040 adults aged 18 and older. Of that sample, 847 are smartphone/tablet users, employed and follow March Madness within the United States, and 1403 are smartphone/tablet owners. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Trafton Kenney at [email protected].


SOASTA is the leader in cloud testing. Its web and mobile test automation and monitoring solutions, CloudTest, TouchTest and mPulse, enable developers, QA professionals and IT operations teams to test and monitor users with unprecedented speed, scale, precision and visibility. The innovative product set streamlines test creation, automates provisioning and execution, and analyzes real user behavior in real-time to deliver actionable intelligence, faster. With SOASTA, companies have confidence that their applications will perform as designed, delivering quality user experiences every time. SOASTA’s customers are many of today’s most successful brands including Avaya, American Girl, Bonobos, Backcountry.com, Chegg, Experian, Gilt Groupe, Hallmark, Intuit, Microsoft and Netflix. SOASTA is privately held and headquartered in Mountain View, Calif. For more information about SOASTA, please visit http://www.soasta.com.

SOASTA is a registered trademark of SOASTA, Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners. Other product or company names mentioned may be trademarks or trade names of their respective companies.

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