She Got Game

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Women want to know the score, too: According to a new survey by NPD Online Research, 36 percent of females online check out sports sites for the latest news. Of those, 23 percent indicate that the Internet is their primary source for sports-related information. About 30 percent of men rank the Web number one for sports news.

What do female fans expect from sports sites? Pretty much the same things as guys: accurate and current information, simple navigation, and an easy-to-read format. Only 7 percent of females reported that interactive chat sessions are worthwhile features at sports sites, versus 9 percent of males.

Convenience is the main appeal. Seventeen percent of women say they access a particular sports site at least once a day. They're logging on at the office, too: 34 percent confirm that the Internet is the first place they turn to for breaking sports news at work.

Women who follow the game online aren't much different from the Web population in general. About 61 percent are 25-to-44-years-old and 64 percent have attended college or completed a degree. Their average household income is $64,000 and 68 percent are married. One interesting tidbit: 42 percent of all females visiting sports sites live in the South. The fewest, 13 percent, are in the Northeast. won the gold medal in the survey: 42 percent of the women who go to sports sites said they've visited, and 13 percent ranked it as their main destination for online sports news. That didn't surprise the folks at ESPN. "We try to appeal to all sports fans, old and young, male and female," says Eric Handler, manager of communications for ESPN's Internet ventures. "There's really no need for an ' for women.'" And advertisers are paying attention, he says. In March, Buick sponsored a contest at the site tied to the NCAA women's college basketball tournament. A similar promotion ran concurrently for the men's tournament, but Buick chose to support the women's event, Handler says.

Particular sports also drew women online. Nearly 30 percent said they had visited the NFL's official site and 18 percent reviewed the specs at For more information about the survey, contact The NPD Group at (516) 625-0700.

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