Ticketmaster in the UK has published a major piece of research into attitudes towards sport which reveals a number of really interesting elements.
Over the next few days, we will look at what the survey of 12,000 fans reveals about fans attitude towards sponsors, broadcast, how and why they look to support their club across three key sports of football, rugby and cricket, as well as other areas of the fan experience.
Today though we will focus on the rising acceptance of Women’s sport as a key factor in the overall growth of interest, particularly among younger sports fans.
62 per cent of those surveyed agreed that Women’s sport was on the rise with 54 per cent of the overall audience believing that clubs and sporting organisations have a responsibility to improve promotion around Women’s sport.
The demographic data suggests that Women’s sport is on the right side of the divide between young and old and that it is a more social experience, perhaps in part based on the fact that ticket prices are generally lower.
Fans that have been to women’s matches are significantly more likely to be female and under
the age of 35 compared to the average sports fan.
As age increases, the likelihood to have attended at least one women’s sport match decreases. The younger age groups are over three times more likely to have attended a women’s match. They are also more likely to feel they would attend a women’s match in the future compared to older fans.
The transactional data tells the same story. On average, those buying tickets for women’s football and rugby matches are younger and more likely to be female. Those who do buy tickets for women’s matches are much more likely to order more tickets compared to men’s matches of the same sport. For women’s football, the majority is purchasing five or more tickets compared to an average of two for men’s matches where the prices are higher.
The key area for attendance is in the middle band of 25-34 year old’s who are 36 per cent likely to attend a Women’s match of some description in 2019 and 35-44 where the number remains high at 26 per cent.
Interestingly after that the attention switches to men with 23 per cent of them and only 11 per cent of women saying they would be likely to attend.
The data does not include from the Republic of Ireland but it does from Northern Ireland.
The bad news their is that sports fans significantly underscore their equivalents in England Scotland and Wales with an average of only 11 per cent of men and four per cent of women saying they would be likely to attend a Women’s sports event.
That is particularly disappointing given that the research was conducted less than twelve months after the hosting at Queens University and the Kingspan Stadium of the final stages of the Women’s Rugby World Cup which produced such a great spectacle.