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Buxton College GameDay BrandWatch: Auburn at Florida

Florida and Auburn football fans may be horrified to discover that they have more in common than they might think.

When it comes to brand preferences two of the favorites among Gators and Tigers fans, whose schools are just 300 miles apart, are discounters T.J. Maxx and Citi Trends, according to the latest College GameDay BrandWatch by Buxton, the leading provider of customer analytics.

Urban streetwear focused Citi Trends is the No. 1 apparel choice for followers of both programs, who meet on Oct. 5 for the 84th time in a series dating back to 1912, while T.J. Maxx is their preferred department store.

Fill The Swamp

ESPN’s College GameDay is returning to The Swamp in Gainesville, Florida, for the first time since 2012. The No. 7 Tigers are narrowly favored by oddsmakers to book a fourth straight win against the 10-ranked Gators, who haven’t beaten their Southeastern Conference (SEC) rival since 2002.

To determine how often supporters of the two programs visit various retail and dining locations compared with the average college football fan, Buxton used its Live Mobile Insights platform to analyze anonymous location data generated by mobile devices over the past two seasons.

By building a more accurate profile of their real customers by combining information generated by Live Mobile Insights with other data points, brand owners can make significantly better decisions about where to build new outlets while also improving the effectiveness of marketing budgets for exiting locations. 

Youthful Skew

The data revealed that Gators and Tigers fans also concur on their second choice in apparel, each favoring Loft, the more casual and less expensive sister brand of Ann Taylor. Both Loft and Ann Taylor are owned by Ascena Retail Group, whose Lane Bryant and Talbots chains also appear among the Tigers’ top 10.

Another company with multiple top 10 brands in the Auburn list is Cato Corp., with its upscale Versona and casual It’s Fashion offerings. Like rue21, the third-most popular choice among Tigers, It’s Fashion is aimed at young adults, a demographic that exhibits a more pronounced skew among Gators, with Victoria’s Secret, Buckle, Aeropostale and Abercrombie & Fitch’s Hollister franchise all appearing among the top 10.

Tigers Love ’Wiches

It may come as a relief to followers of both teams that their dining tastes diverge more widely, with only Chick-fil-A featuring among the top 10 of both programs. 

Gators have a sweeter tooth than their rivals to the northwest, with Krispy Kreme, Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt and Baskin-Robbins all claiming a place among their leading choices. And while their favorite dining option is Smoothie King, Auburn fans love a sandwich, with brands such as Panera Bread, Which Wich, Schlotzsky’s, Sonic and Chick-fil-A among their top selections.

The No. 1 restaurant for Gators is MOD Pizza, the only entry in either team’s top 10 that also appears among the leading choices for fans of all teams in the SEC, at No. 3. The nearest MOD Pizza outlets to The Swamp are in Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa — 71, 123 and 130 miles away respectively — perhaps indicating that the Bellevue, Washington-based chain should consider adding a Gainesville location. Either that, or Gators fans don’t mind a long drive to get their favorite pie or they have sizable fan bases in those cities.

Finally, half of the top 10 in the lodging category are common to each set of fans, including TownePlace Suites by Marriott, Hampton by Hilton and Comfort Suites, while the other two shared preferences appear among the leading brands for the first time, Microtel by Wyndham and Home2 Suites by Hilton.

For the analysis, Buxton defined a fan as someone whose device was geolocated at a home football game during the past two seasons and who also lives within 50 miles of the Florida or Auburn football stadiums. The results were then compared against those for the average fan, defined using the same parameters, of teams in nine major college football conferences and were adjusted to reflect the presence of a brand within 50 miles of each school’s respective stadium, to ensure accurate comparisons.

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For more information about Live Mobile Insights powered by Buxton, call (817) 332-3681.

Buxton is the industry leader in data analytics in the retail, restaurant, healthcare, public and commercial real estate property technology sectors. We provide clients with real estate and marketing strategies based on trillions of consumer and location data points. 

At Buxton’s core, we help businesses, property owners and investors realize their growth and optimization potential by understanding who the relevant customers are, where existing and potential customers are located and the value each customer brings to the organization. For 25 years we have produced award-winning solutions for our clients, enabling them to successfully expand and improve the sales performance of their existing portfolio of locations. Buxton’s solutions have provided confidence to our clients in their expansion efforts, allowing them to grow faster and more effectively than their competition. Buxton is privately held and offers solutions globally in over 200 countries and territories. 

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