Sport fan consumption behaviors play an influential role in shaping future value propositions of wagering operators, especially re-imagining experiences to win over emerging fans.
As one in depth survey by Deloitte’s found from 4,000 sports fans across the US, hometown is the number one determining factor of team loyalty. 40 percent follow a team because of proximity to where they grew up. This finding was fairly consistent between major leagues (NHL 44%; MLB 42%; NFL 39%; NBA 36%; MLS 35%). Current residency (22%), family influence (14%) and recent team performance (10%) were also found to be important drivers in fan loyalty decisions.
A separate finding in the same report showed NBA fans more than other sports were 200% more likely to follow a team because of their favorite player. Visibility on the court, not hidden under helmets and padding, is one aspect of this, so too greater player mobility in modern times can change a fans perception of a team.
On the surface 18-34 year old Americans are less avid and casual traditional sports fans. Digging deeper here and there is evidence of a generational shift in how Millennial fans engage with sport content and their expectations for more personalized experiences.
According to research from Imagen, younger demographics are emerging as their own unique kind of Superfan. Four times as many Gen Z and Millennials watch over three hours of non-live sports content each week compared to Baby Boomers. Even when Gen Z fans do watch live sports content it is unlikely to hold their full attention with 78% engaged with dual screens during a game. Furthermore, this highly connected cohort feel under served in behind scenes footage, match replays, funny clips, match and player statistics.
All of these trends present new opportunities for wagering operators to better connect with and provide content which supports what this new group of sports fans are willing to pay for.