The high net worth of an American Football fan

Last night we saw the 51st Super Bowl. And with tickets selling for an average of around $5000, you can imagine many American Football fans missed out on attending the prestigious event. Even the average regular NFL game ticket is currently $93 according to Statista. But how do so many fans afford to pay this absurd ticket price? We look at 3 different markets where American Football has a consistent following and see whether American Football fans are more likely to have a higher income bracket in enabling them to enjoy such an expensive sport.

United States of America

Of course we start with the biggest following. Kantar Media’s Sportscope study shows that 53% of the adult population in the US (16+) follow American Football. 35% of those fans have a household income of over $75,000 and 25% have a household income of $50,000-$74,999. So a significant proportion of American Football fans have a high household income. If we look further into those fans who have a household income of over $75,000, 62% of them are male. They are 21% more likely than the average American Football fan in the US to be in the age bracket of 35-44 year olds. They are also 54% more likely than the average American Football fan to also follow cycling and 77% more likely to follow sailing.

UK

The American Football following in the UK is stable and consistent, with 6% of the population following for the last 2 years. 2016 saw Twickenham host its first international series game and the NFL have signed a partnership with Tottenham Hotspur to play games at their new stadium from 2018. So investments are being made in the UK to grow following. Kantar Media conducted a survey of 1000 respondents in the UK and 54% of NFL followers agreed that games being held in London increases their interest. See more on this here. Interestingly American Football fans in the UK who have a household income of over £50,000 are fairly young, with 34% being 25-34 years of age. They are 54% more likely than the average American Football fan in the UK to also follow swimming. American Football followers in the UK also don’t mind splashing the cash; Kantar Media’s Sportscope TGI shows male American Football fans are 24% more likely than the average adult in the UK (15+) to agree that ‘if I like something, I just buy it without considering the price’ and 41% more likely to find it important to keep their household equipped with the latest technology. Female American Football fans are easily influenced as well as enjoying the finer things. They are 46% more likely to be tempted to buy products that they’ve seen advertised, 44% more likely than the average adult to have expensive tastes and more than 2 and a half times more likely to be influenced by celebrities on their purchasing decisions! It seems for brands to target these fans, celebrity endorsed products will resonate with the female audience and new technological products will entice the male followers in the UK.

China

China has a 5% following of American Football. They are showing signs of increasing their interest and even their participation in the sport. They have recently started their own league consisting of 6 teams representing Beijing, Shanghai, Qingdao, Dalian, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. And Peyton Manning embarked on a promotional tour around China on behalf of the NFL. The same pattern can be seen as the United States and UK with higher income fans. Sports fans in china with a household income of over ¥480,000 (£55,250) are over 2 and a half times more likely to follow American Football than the average sports fan in China. They, like the United States, are also more likely to follow sailing (twice as likely as the average sports fan).

American Football fans across all 3 markets seem to have a sufficient household income and as a result are also more likely than the average sports fan to follow other sports such as Cycling and Sailing.  Fans in the UK are especially influenced by celebrities and more likely to buy products advertised to them, particularly female fans. The future of NFL is looking bright; current fans have a good income and are consistent followers, investments are being made in tours to promote the league (Peyton Manning touring China) and they look to further increase interest and following with their international games and partnering with clubs to host their games in London.

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