We took a look at three different markets where American football has a consistent following to see whether NFL fans are more likely to have a higher income bracket in enabling them to enjoy such an expensive sport.
United States of America
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.
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 beginnig in 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 receptive to advertising. 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 two-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 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).
Source: Kantar Media