Non-Victorian readers, bear with us while we indulge in some AFL reporting (as a Melbourne-based publication, we reserve this right to). Collingwood is a team name that draws both undying loyalty and some pretty nasty reactions. However, contrary to popular belief, the team of black and white do not hold the record of the highest number of fans, and in fact, the accolade doesn’t belong to any Victorian team.

According to a report released by Roy Morgan Research, the Sydney Swans top the charts with the most number of supporters, reaching 1,042,000. Collingwood follows with 913,000 while the Brisbane Lions have a team of 824,000 behind them.

However, Magpie supporters have shown to be most dedicated to the cause, with 35% having attended an AFL game in the last year, and 74% being avid watchers of the weekly games on TV. Swans supporters fall behind with 20% attending games and 63% catching it on TV.

Records show that fans, however, differ greatly in their level of commitment. Swan fans are more likely to attend a game by the NRL then the AFL while Brisbane supports are equally loyal between the two codes.

Norman Morris, industry communications director of Roy Morgan Research says: “Sydney has the highest number of supporters of any team in the AFL, however, this is due to their advantage of being the only team representing Australia’s largest city.”

“Despite this, Collingwood have the largest number of paying members and arguably the most passionate and loyal supporters.”

Morris points to the level of support AFL receives outside of Victoria and believe the introduction of two new teams, the Greater Western Sydney Giants and Gold Coast Suns will cause changes in the AFL.


As a marketer, how do you tap into the strong sporting passions of Australians? Leave us a comment.

Belle Kwan
BY Belle Kwan ON 8 September 2011
Assistant editor, Marketing magazine &
A marketer's dream who believes everything she sees on TV.
Advertising is not evil, it is an artform and a science.