September 3, 2018 / Insights The next generation Australian sports fan

By Patrick Galloway (@pat11g)

There are some sports that stand head and shoulders above the rest in terms of their ability to engage a younger sports fan demographic in Australia and they’re not what you might expect.

According to the latest numbers from Aussie based market research firm Nielsen Sports, soccer and AFL are by far the number one sport of choice for Aussie males aged 25-34.

Managing Director of Nielsen Sports, Shane Mattiske, says the numbers they are seeing in their monthly research data are significant.

“The viewing numbers for the FIFA World Cup are testament to the interest in soccer in this Country and there is no reason to expect that soccer won’t continue to grow.”

“At the end of 2017, for males under thirty-five, we had 870,000 AFL fans compared to just over a million for soccer,” Said Mattiske.

Basketball is also one to watch, in terms of its growth trajectory.

Social media access and the success of Aussies abroad has seen interest in the NBA surge.
Social media access and the success of Aussies abroad has seen interest in the NBA surge.

The amount of day-time activity observed by venues who effectively promote and advertise lunchtime NBA action is reflective of this craze that’s hit younger Aussie pub-goers.

Mattiske says a lot of hit has to do with social media consumption and the success of Australian athletes in the NBA, led by Ben Simmons.

“Younger males are very active on social media and they are accessing huge amounts of content, particularly around social leaders.”

“The NBA has a very active social media policy and the personality of NBA players are coming through quite strongly and there is a cast amount of content out there for free,”

“That will be very interesting to see how that plays out over the next ten years,” says Mattiske, who has been a strategiv voice within a number of Australia's leading sporting organisations throughout his career.

How that plays out for venues can depend on trading hours but the opportunity to provide engaging, immersive lunchtime experiences for sports fans around the NBA is a start.

Fans don’t come more passionate than those who track the round ball code. A relationship with a local supporter club around assurances that you will show matches for fans is another idea.

Or if you’re looking to live sport to attract a younger demographic to your venue, consider the opportunity of differentiating your space with an ‘AFL-first’ live and loud approach.
 

The AFL has grown to become Australia's most dominant sporting code.
The AFL has grown to become Australia's most dominant sporting code.

Live sport can be a great tool to future proof your venue by setting and promoting a schedule of events that appeals to a younger demographic.

If you're interested in learning more, feel free to drop us a line using the contact form page from the menu bar above or check out or new digital platform, the Sportsyear Engine.