After ESPN showed us how important sports is to fans -- even when they're dead -- Puma, with agency Droga5, has taken a different approach to a similar question. And unlike ESPN, it has science (of a sort) to back it up.
Puma, in partnership with Bristol University researchers, is trying to find out whether Newcastle United fans, for all their aggressiveness, love their soccer team more than they love their wives and girlfriends. The brand did an honest-to-goodness study (results to be published in a white paper) that measured 20 Newcastle United fans' stress levels as they stuck needles into voodoo dolls or tore up pictures of their favorite players or their partners. To uncover fans' "true" feelings, the scientists used a skin conductance response machine to figure out what the test subjects were really thinking. Before the tests, the fans (all male, by the way) had told researchers that they loved both their wives and their teams equally.
The sample group was chosen on the basis that each had been in a committed relationship for at least five years, and had also been a season ticket holder for at least the same amount of time
Want to know who won? Check out the film. And you can also take part in the survey online on a dedicated website.
While it's an interesting move that Puma commissioned a real study (with real science folks and everything!), it's not the first marketer to do so -- around soccer, to boot. During the Euro 2012 championships, Sharp created "FanLabs," a project that used a website, an app and headgear to collect data about the knowledge, confidence, attitudes and beliefs of soccer fans around the world. The data, which included nuggets of wisdom like the fact that Ukrainians were so desperate to win the tournament, they'd give up alcohol for more than a year, was going to be used to help Sharp manufacture better TVs.