The Brisbane Lions AFL team’s chief sponsor, insurance firm Vero, might be asking for a discount after a new study found its fans were the least likely of the 18 teams to attend a match or watch a game on TV. Even more baffling, the survey found Lions supporters actually preferred watching rugby league.
The study into fan loyalty was conducting by Roy Morgan Research and found that in 2016 some 31.5 per cent of the population attended or watched an AFL game. However, the results were much higher among actual AFL supporters.
Port Adelaide supporters were the most likely of any teams’ fans to watch AFL broadcasts of any kind with nearly nine in every 10 of them watching matches almost always or occasionally throughout the year (more than double the population average of 39.2 per cent).
Brisbane Lions supporters are least likely to view any AFL TV broadcasts (60.8 per cent): in fact, more of them (70.6 per cent) prefer to watch NRL on TV.
Watching AFL on TV: the league’s five most- and five least -engaged supporters by team
When it comes to actual match attendances, Melbourne Demons fans are most likely to get out to a game at 48.7 per cent. And it appears Lions fans aren’t watching their team on telly or heading out to watch them live either with just over one in five supporters saying they attended live matches.
The stats appear to validate the AFL’s own attendance records that showed 187,186 people attended a Lions game in 2016. Although the Gold Coast Suns were actually worst with only 127,168 attendees last year.
Attending AFL matches: the league’s five most – and five least -engaged supporters by team
Oddly, despite their team winning the Grand Final in 2013, 2014 and 2015, Hawthorn Hawks supporters don’t rank among those most inclined to attend matches – in fact, their attendance has declined year on year.
As for fans of last year’s flag winners, the Western Bulldogs, their match attendance rate for 2016 put them seventh out of 18 teams’ supporters.