Changing profile of Aussie football fans

Soccer fans across Australia are connected, confident and adventurous, says a new football trends and insights report, ‘Play On’.

The research by Enhanced Media Metrics Australia (EMMA) is calling fans ‘omnivores’ referencing their devotion to multiple football codes – NRL, AFL, A-League soccer and SuperRugby. This new breed of fan is broadening the demographics and cultural profiles of traditional football followers, forcing marketers to ask themselves if they should be changing how they target fans.

Football fans are early adopters when it comes to alcohol and cars, two of the biggest sports advertising categories. They are also increasingly affluent and the report considers whether marketers should broaden the brands that are advertised to sports crowds.

Half of those attending football matches are in the highest socioeconomic quintile, Social Grade AB.

Play On figure 1


More than half of A-League soccer fans are also fans of NRL, while just over 42% are fans of rugby union. NSW and ACT have the highest number of cross-code fans, while Victorians, South Australians and Western Australians are more likely to stick to their traditional codes.

Sports fans are unsurprisingly heavy consumers of media using online, television and newspapers. Football fans are 9% more likely to subscribe to pay TV and 13% more likely to subscribe to newspapers. AFL fans have the highest newspaper readership amongst all the football codes.

Such a high consumption of media gives brands the opportunity to offer content and speak directly to fans before, during and after games. 21% of fans use sports websites, 71% use the newspaper and 81% use television for their sporting needs.

The soccer fan:

Play On figure 2


When it comes to betting, fans of all football codes are more likely than other Australians to place a bets. Fans of A-League are 125% more inclined to bet, NRL fans are 106% more inclined and AFL fans are 85% more inclined.


BY Peta Short ON 25 September 2015