Media & Entertainment

As the NFL’s Fan Base Shifts, THIS Is Who’s Watching Football

Image Credit: Unsplash 9/20/17 (Ben White)

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The Gist: We found that Millennials are less likely than other generations to be NFL fans. With the start of NFL season, we dug a little deeper to paint a picture of the most common traits of the average NFL fan. We learned that NFL fans are money-minded, and consider themselves attractive, among other fascinating insights.  


Well, it’s the beginning of NFL season. Time to order pizza and wings on Sundays, yell at the refs, and cheer for touchdowns.

Alright, you caught me. I was in the marching band. I’ve been to every one of my high school and college football games and still have no idea how the game works. Or any sports game really. Yeah, I said “sports game.”

Blasphemy!” you cry. And I expect nothing less. I grew up in Philadelphia, migrated to Pittsburgh, and spent some time in Boston. These places do not mess around with their sports – football very much included.

But it turns out, I’m not the only Millennial who is uninterested in the NFL. Just over half of Millennials aren’t NFL fans, as opposed to 41% and 42% of Generation X and Baby Boomers, respectively.

CivicScience chart showing that 53% of Millennials are not NFL fans, while only 42% of Baby Boomers are not NFL fans.

What’s more, 35% of Millennials have no interest in sports at all.

Okay, now cue the headlines about Millennials “killing” the NFL. But this isn’t new. We posted last month that the landscape of sports fans is changing.

NFL FANS AND FINANCES

First, we found that NFL fans tend to be more money-minded.

For example, they’re more likely to follow economic trends. This makes a lot of sense to me, because I’m neither an NFL fan, nor am I good at managing my money.

A chart showing that 17% of NFL fans very closely follow financial markets and the economy, compared to only 13% of Non-NFL fans.

As you can see, NFL fans are  more likely than non-fans to follow financial markets and the economy at least somewhat closely, while non-fans are roughly 38% more likely to say they don’t follow the economy or financial markets at all.  

PORTRAIT OF AN NFL FAN

We also found that NFL fans are attractive (or so they think). They’re 20% more likely than non-NFL fans to say that they’re more physically attractive than most people their age and gender.

30% of NFL fans think they're more attractive than their peers.

Next, I found that NFL fans are more likely to watch TV live or using a DVR, and are less likely to watch through online streaming.

A Chart showing that 52% of NFL fans prefer to watch TV live, and only 17% through online streaming.

WHAT ELSE DID I FIND ABOUT NFL FANS?

Compared to Americans who aren’t NFL fans, fans of the NFL are:

• more likely to be daily Twitter users (12% vs. 10%)
• more likely to be fans of TV sitcoms
• more likely to make over $150,000 per year
• more likely to prefer casual restaurants to fine dining
• Almost twice as likely to drink beer twice a week or more (when looking at ages 25+)

LIKE LOOKING IN A MIRROR?

So, there you have it. An outsider’s perspective on everything you could possibly want to know about an NFL fan.

No, just kidding. They’re complex and nuanced human beings, but we can probably guess they’ll be stopping by Buffalo Wild Wings before the game, tweeting on the way there, and checking themselves out in the rear-view mirror.

Since 61% of all respondents are NFL fans, chances have it you are, too. If so, let me know how I did. Was it like looking in a mirror?

 

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