The high net worth of the football fan

Football fans are flocking to Russia for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and travelling across the vast country cannot come cheap. For example, an England fan with tickets to all 3 group games will have to travel over 4,000 miles to go to each one - all before the knockout stages!

A lot of fans would have missed out on the World Cup due to ticket availability, but some also would have been put off by the accumulative cost of flight, ticket and hotel prices. Here we use data from our TGI study of consumer behaviour and characteristics to examine three different European markets – Germany, France and Great Britain - where football has a robust following to broadly assess the financial means of football fans, which will in part dictate how viable it is for them to follow their team across Russia.

Germans particularly passionate about the beautiful game

TGI data shows that 61% of Germans have an interest in football, the highest of these 3 countries. When we look at participation, 14% of the country’s adults play football regularly, which is also a higher proportion than in France or Britain.

The average personal income in Germany is €25,000, those with any interest have an average income of €26,400 and those who play football regularly have an average of €30,500, potentially allowing them more disposable income which could be used to indulge their passion for football.

Those fans in Germany who play football regularly are also relatively financially savvy, with the TGI data revealing they are 29% more likely than the average European adult* to be more aware of their personal finance than they used to be and 31% more likely to find advertising for financial services interesting.

French fans likely to have lower income, but particularly likely to be careful with what they have

Just 9% of French adults claim to regularly play football, but 43% have an interest in the game. The average income in France is €19,200, whilst the 43% who have an interest in football earn €19,800 on average and those who play football regularly have an average income of €18,700.

Going against the trend in the other countries, they are the only group to have a lower income than the country average, but does this make them smarter with their money? Certainly, they seem to display significantly greater financial probity than their fellow countrymen. They are 50% more likely than the average adult to consult a financial adviser before deciding on financial matters and 49% more likely to show an interest in advertising for financial services, whilst 71% of them agree that it is important to be well insured for everything.

British fans have a relatively high income, but don’t necessarily spend it carefully

In Great Britain, 12% of adults say they regularly play football and 41% have an interest in football. British adults have an average personal income (in euros) of €30,600, whereas those with an interest in football have an average of €33,200 and regular players have €36,300. This means those who follow football in Great Britain have the biggest difference in income to the country average of the three markets, as well as the highest income overall.

However, they are not necessarily the best at managing it. The 12% who regularly play football are 40% more likely than the average adult to agree that they are no good at saving money and 141% more likely to agree that with a credit card they can buy the things they couldn’t normally afford. Football fans and football players in Great Britain show some stark differences between each other, with TGI data revealing that those with an interest in football are only 3% more likely to say they are no good at saving money and 7% less likely to leave the financial arrangements in their home to someone else, whereas the regular players are 47% more likely to leave the financial arrangements to someone else.

Thus, we can see how football fans and football players vary considerably between countries in their financial attitudes and incomes. For the most part, football fans and players have a little more money coming in than the average adult, potentially putting them in a better position to follow their national team on their Russian World Cup adventure. Whether they do or not will depend on a number of factors, not least their overall attitude towards spending and saving.


*More likely than the average adult in Great Britain, Spain, Germany and France

Source: Kantar Media's TGI Europa study 2018, 4-country Spring release (Great Britain/Spain/Germany/France)

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