Inflation gives pause to sports fans, basketball drives interest in women’s sports, and the FIFA World Cup host nation has fans leery – here are the latest insights from CivicScience’s sports industry report.

Inflation forces sports fans to punt attending their favorite sporting events.

You’d be hard-pressed to find an aspect of the average American’s life unaffected by inflation. How we entertain ourselves is no exception and new CivicScience data is clear – one of America’s favorite forms of entertainment is finding its way onto the chopping blocks of American budgets: attending sporting events. Over half of U.S. adults who regularly attend sporting events (53%) say they have refrained from purchasing tickets recently due to high prices in the past six months.

Data from July show that sports fans who have already taken a cost-cutting step of cutting the cord on cable services are more likely to be watching their favorite sport via streaming services. They may recognize they’ve already invested in an affordable option to watch from the comforts of home. October data find that familiarity with and usage of new sports streaming services such as NFL Plus are growing.

Who is watching what in women’s sports?

According to the latest CivicScience polling data, basketball garners the most interest among all women’s sports for U.S. adults. Fans show the most interest in watching NCAA women’s basketball, likely boosted by the NCAA Tournament in March. Gen Z adults in particular are likely the driving force of interest in NCAA women’s basketball and the WNBA. 

Who is ‘most likely’ to be a women’s sports fan? NBA & NCAA Basketball fans lead the way. 

Analyzing data from over 4,800 U.S. adult respondents, CivicScience identified 20 key psychographic attributes which are most predictive of being interested in women’s sports. Given the interest in women’s basketball over all other women’s sports, it’s unsurprising to see basketball, especially NBA Basketball fans, making up the top predictive indicator of a women’s sports fan. CivicScience data from March found big NBA fans showed great interest in watching not only the men’s NCAA basketball tournament, but the women’s tournament as well.  

Sports aren’t the only indicator to making a women’s sports fan.

A women’s sports fan is likely to be active on social media platforms Twitter or Instagram, own or intends to buy AR products and smart home automation products, and regularly dine at upscale restaurants, among other key indicators. 

World Cup host nation leaves sports fans uneasy.

One of the premier international sporting events, the 2022 FIFA World Cup, played its opening games over the weekend. Excitement for the month-long tournament, however, could be blunted slightly due to the controversial restrictions of the host country, Qatar. October polling data show the decision to have the tournament in Qatar may have an impact on viewership. MLS fans are much more likely than the average sports fan to consider the host country when deciding whether to watch an international sporting event. Eighty-two percent of MLS fans and 73% of likely World Cup watchers say the host nation plays at least somewhat of a role in decisions to watch international events such as the FIFA World Cup. Certainly, something to keep an eye on as the tournament gets rolling.

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