How to Target Sports Fans on Facebook

The sports enthusiasts have long been an intriguing audience for marketers. They tend to be passionate about their favourite sport and spend accordingly.

What makes Sports Fans Unique?

How do you narrow down the “sports fans” vertical? They might be active players, or have a favourite club that may or may not be from their hometown. Or maybe they just like the in-stadium experience. Still, if you are looking to sell fan gear or other products or services directly related to sports fans, you have a number of options based on the various characteristics they can share (Facebook UK figures on Football fans):

  • They tend to be younger males, often between 18 and 36 years old.
  • They're enthusiastic and passionate about the sport and their favourite team, and are not afraid to post about it or share related content.
  • They often follow sports teams and individual players on social media, especially Facebook.

Don't make the mistake of thinking that every sports fan will fall into these categories. But many will, making these characteristics a great starting point for your Facebook targeting efforts from which you can then run tests.

How to Build Your Facebook Campaign With a Sport Focus

The above characteristics are a starting point for your digital campaign. You still need a tool to make it happen. That's where Facebook Ads Manager comes in. In its audience tool, you can set up your demographic and geographic focus. In addition, various interest-based opportunities are of particular interest for this specific vertical.

It makes sense to start with the basics. Based on the above:

  • Limit your audience to males
  • Choose younger demographics
  • Set the geographic focus around your brick and mortar store or the sports team around which your product is based. That way, you have a great starting point for more specific and qualified opportunities, even though your audience might be smaller due to geo-targeting.

Now, you can move to Facebook's interest-based targeting. Here, focusing on the sports teams or players your audience likes is a perfect start. After having made your search , select them via a quick and simple search in the interest-based targeting list.

Finally, leverage behaviour-based targeting as an additional segmentation tool. Facebook allows you to choose only users who have recently purchased sports apparel, a dead giveaway for relevance in this vertical.

That gives you an audience designed to be relevant for your messaging. Still, don't rely on your initial setup only. Continuous testing allows you to improve your audience over time.

Efficiently target Sports Fans using Mobile App Targeting

At 42matters, we believe that installed apps give amazing insight to users’ interests especially as it is getting more and more difficult to target people with strong intent.

This is the reason why we created the Audience Finder. By taking advantage of our extensive app database, we help you create audiences based on apps people have on their mobile devices since these apps show what they are most interested in.

The benefits of using the Audience Finder for your Facebook Ads Audiences

  1. Reach mobile AND desktop users. Because Facebook users are mapped across devices and apps, you can reach them everywhere, even on Instagram and Messenger.
  2. Be as precise as one installed app. With millions of app in our database, no user is out of reach.
  3. Find and target a considerably stronger audience. It's not just about matching what a user reads online but what he has committed to install and use.
  4. Target customers of your competitors or of similar services.
  5. Combine traditional Facebook advertising with extra precision thanks to our tool.

The 3-step process to target Sport Fans with the Audience Finder

  • First, define the apps your audience is most likely to have installed. For example if you want to target people that are interested in football, then you could directly target people that have the official NFL app installed. Same goes for other sports, e.g. reach basketball fans by targeting people that have the NBA app installed.
Apps for Sport Fans in the Audience Finder
  • Then, you are a click away from exporting your custom audience to your Facebook Ads account. A lookalike audience is also added in the process to broaden your reach.
  • All that remains now is to create your campaign using the given audience!
Sports app in Audience Finder before export

Try the Audience Finder for free!

Combine Audience Finder audiences with Facebook Ads to reach your business goals at better costs. You can use the Audience Finder for free with our 14-day trial and find how it can power-up your marketing efforts!

Should you have question, send us an e-mail at

Audience Finder can provide audiences with a higher granularity and stronger intent. Ideally, combining both Facebook Targeting and Audience Finder’s results will give you a more effective ad targeting strategy that will place your ads directly in front of the right people.