D15: Sport Utility Families

Upscale, middle-aged couples with school-aged children living active family lifestyles in outlying suburbs

Type of Suburban Style consisting of 1.15% of households and 2.08% of population

Who We Are

  • Aged 36-45
  • Household income $125,000-$149,999
  • 2 person household
  • Homeowner
  • Medium level of household technology

Key Features

  • Suburb living
  • Comfortable spending
  • Athletic activities
  • Outdoor leisure
  • Saving for college
  • Parents


Sport Utility Families consist of upscale families of little diversity living in relatively new subdivisions on the fringe of the metro sprawl. Most of the adults are middle-aged and often have children of all ages. The segment is characterized by above-average educations and incomes in the low six figures from a mix of white-collar and blue-collar jobs.

Once considered the ‘boonies’, these communities were typically developed in what was rolling farmland surrounding metro areas. Many adults were originally attracted to the areas more than a decade ago for the open spaces and the

affordability of the housing—not the prestige of the neighborhoods. However, as their kids have grown up, the adults have aged in place and built up equity in houses that are now considered within reasonable commuting distance of city jobs as well as rural parks. In these stable areas, families have deep roots and belong to the PTA, church groups and unions. They particularly enjoy country music.

With both parents in the workforce, Sport Utility Families have busy, child-centered lifestyles. They typically spend a lot of time in their vehicles—mostly trucks and CUVs—ferrying their children to after-school activities and heading off for weekend excursions to museums, zoos and aquariums. These are sports-crazy families who join leagues to play softball, basketball and football; they’re also close enough to lakes and parkland where they can fish, hunt and boat. These households still travel as a family, which means overnight camping trips and theme parks. When parents need a date night, they’ll head to a bar, bowling, or football or baseball game event.

These consumers often shop e-tailer and discount retailers, but they head to kid-oriented specialty stores for toys, games and sporting equipment. In these hectic households, most parents value nutrition but not at the cost of convenience. One quarter exercise regularly and 30 percent say that they try to eat healthy.

Few read the newspaper, but they have many interests in magazines, including parenting and outdoor recreation. They go online to pay bills, visit Amazon.com and eBay, and among their most bookmarked websites are Huffingtonpost.com, Facebook, Pinterest and Pandora.

Sport Utility Families work hard and have conservative family values. Politically, they’re overwhelmingly Republican. As conservative investors, they are more comfortable investing in savings bonds than individual stocks and own 529 College Savings Plans. They are generous contributors to private, political and educational charities.

To reach these consumers, leverage email campaigns, social media and direct mail. Use messages that portray the brand as loyal, honest, and with American conventions like the fondness of diversity and respect.