While a majority support for Rugby League and Australian Rules persists in their traditional heartlands, a new class of ‘omnivore fan’ is shifting the demographic and cultural profiles of Australia’s football fans.
The new emma (Enhanced Media Metrics Australia) Football Trends and Insights Report, Play On!, reveals growing cross-code following and how this is changing the face of Australian footy supporters.
As code support broadens, so does the demographic profile of followers, revealing a group of consumers who are connected, confident and often adventurous.
For example, in alcoholic beverages and cars – two of the biggest sport category advertisers – footy fans are more likely to keep up to date with and be early adopters in these categories and are also more likely to seek and share information with others about beer and cars.
Code supporters are also increasingly affluent, with people attending live games in particular skewing to the highest economic quintile.
“This suggests brands that base their advertising strategies on stereotypical code fan profiles could be narrowing their field of potential customers,” said Ipsos MediaCT managing director Simon Wake.
Soccer has long enjoyed Australia’s highest participation rate, and emma data also shows that rising enthusiasm for A-League is driving cross-code support.
“Rather than fracture loyalty though soccer’s rise is seeing football fans share their love. As a result, the entire football market is growing,” Wake added.
Highly passionate about their sport, footy fans are also heavy media consumers, turning to sports websites and, especially, newspaper sport sections and TV channels for their fix.