Some advertising intelligence for the sports fan to mull over: even though the cherished belief is that the average fan listening to an event on radio or watching it on TV is an amiable slob (ideally wearing a T shirt and drinking a can of beer) who switches the dial whenever a commercial comes on, advertising people know better. Ken Miller of radio station KMPC in Los Angeles, which broadcasts California Angels baseball games, says the station had a survey done a few years ago by the W.R. Simmons company to determine how much attention listeners to various programs were paying to commercials. Says Miller, "According to the Simmons study, in California the sports listener has a higher rate of attentiveness and ability to recall a commercial than a listener to any other kind of broadcasting." As for the old blue-collar image of the sports fan, Miller says the Angel broadcasts do not reach a blue-collar audience. "Research by the Mervin Field company on the West Coast during the last 12 or 13 years indicates that the baseball listener is in a higher income bracket than the national average and is in a higher educational bracket—well above the average. The Los Angeles Rams' audience is pretty much the same as that for the Angels. Upper income and upper educated. Probably a little bit more than the baseball audience."
There you are, sports fans. You're rich and you're smart—in California, anyway—and you pay attention. And that last attribute is going to get more and more important. According to the J. Walter Thompson Company, the largest advertising agency in the world, in another 15 years three-second spots may be the big thing in television advertising. Three-second spots? One little second, two little seconds, three little seconds? Yes, says J. Walter, because consumers (that's you, sports fans) will be able to comprehend commercials at much faster rates. What it comes down to, of course, is that we'll be able to watch commercials between every pitch, between every down, maybe after every basket. It's the wave of the future.
RECHERCHE DU TEMPS PERDU
The Poughkeepsie Journal ran a headline out of the past a couple of weeks ago: PALMER LEADS CROSBY. No, it wasn't Arnold, and it wasn't Bing. It was Sandra Palmer on her way to winning Kathy Crosby's own little clambake, the Kathryn Crosby/ Honda Civic Classic in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.
YO-HO-HO AND A BET ON RUM
Red Rum, the English horse, won the 136th running of the Grand National at Aintree last Saturday. That's accomplishment enough, but there's more. Red Rum won the race in 1973. He won it again in 1974. He finished second in 1975, second in 1976 and now he has won it again this year. No other horse in the history of the National can equal that astonishing record.
Red Rum is 12 years old, an age when most respectable horses that are not at stud (Red Rum is a gelding) are either running in minor races at minor tracks or are waiting the call from the dog-food factory. As a matter of record, moralists in Great Britain have been intermittently indignant for the past two years about the cruelties being inflicted on Red Rum, such as making him still run. He's finished, they cried, washed up. It's terrible to keep him in training. A good part of their outrage was directed at Trainer Donald (Ginger) McCain, who by profession is a garage owner in Lancashire. McCain trains a number of horses along with Red Rum, keeping them all in a stable behind his garage. There isn't room to gallop them there, so he trots his charges through the streets and down to the beach, where he works them out on the sand. This regimen did not seem to do much for Red Rum after his back-to-back victories in 1973 and 1974, for in the next two racing seasons his record was quite ordinary. Yet when it came time for Aintree and the National in 1975 and 1976, there was Red Rum at the top of his form again.
This year, despite the critics, the public made Red Rum second favorite for the National, and when the 12-year-old came down the stretch a smashing winner by 25 lengths, the huge crowd at Aintree gave him a tumultuous salute. And began looking ahead to next year.
GOOD OLD DAYS