The sports’ fans landscape is changing.
Back in the day, great-grandpa, Max loved to catch a game seated meters away from the live-action. Grandpa Todd, Max’s son, followed suit. Until Chris came along and wasn’t entirely thrilled about going to the stadia. Chris, Todd’s son, and other millennials broke away from these old age traditions – making sports executives stressed and trying to figure out why?
However, it’s not that Chris doesn’t enjoy sports; it’s the way that he consumes sports that is different. Besides, you can’t blame millennials for that or another plethora of stuff they are often maligned with. After all, change is preemptive with the advancement of technology.
Some executives just missed the memo on what millennials prefer when it comes to sports. Here is what you need to know about millennial sports fans.
A recent study by the American Gaming Association (AGA) with the collaboration of Nielsen Sports found out that close to half of all sports bettors are millennials. That’s not all; these generations got the dough to spend. Apparently, 29 % of millennial bettors live in a household with an average income of 100k.
Makes sense, right?
So, if you see millennials trying their luck on picks and parlays, or any other sports bet – they’ve got the money to spend. After all, who doesn’t like to make some side income? Also, they love sports, so why not make some money while enjoying the thrill of the action.
Prefer social media fan engagement
As mentioned earlier, change is inevitable with the advancement of technology. Grandpa max and Todd may have preferred the fan engagement and the thrill of the stadia; however, Chris prefers the fan engagement of social media.
Tickets sales might be lagging with millennials, but sports are still popular as it used to be with generation x (or further down history to the stone age). When the game is live, and comments start flowing on social media on how these players are great and that player is an idiot, that’s the fan engagement that millennials prefer.
Also, spoiler alert, they’d rather bet the ticket money and stay at home commenting on social media; and even engage in a fight with the opponent incorporating funny memes as they watch the game. Millennials want more than only to watch the game.
Prefer live internet sports streaming to cable television
Millennial is a digital-first sports audience. They prefer to live internet streaming of sporting events to cable television. This is a fact that sports executive and club owners are grappling with in terms of strategy.
Robert Kraft, a principal owner of the New England Patriots football franchise, was quoted recently stating; millennials don’t have television sets, and even those who have them are not subscribed to any cable in the first place. How they can get millennials to watch T.V is in the internet age is a challenge.
While tv is still popular with live sports streaming, shifting trends of millennials streaming games on their phone s and laptops present a long-term challenge. Plus, some of the internet streaming services do so with violation of copyright. This, in effect, denies the sports team a significant source of revenue if the same was to be via approved means.
Rising interest in non-traditional sports
Sports preference has also evolved over the year. Even dancers, these dances are considered athletes. Preference has shifted from the traditional organized team sports to skating, water sports, dance, and even virtual reality, among others.
For instance, in the past, dance attracted a few sponsors. However, these days it not new to see sportswear like Nike, Puma, and Adidas supporting dance competition as a sport. Millennials may prefer to watch the world of dance to the NFL.
Video gaming has also changed the landscape, especially with virtual reality. It has given millennials what they want to interact with. Millennials don’t have to watch the game and relax. They are in the game.
Some teams are becoming creative in attracting millennials to the stadia and have noticed what millennials prefer. Most have free Wi-Fi in the arena so that millennials can catch up with happening on social platforms. During the halftime break, popular dance teams that have a massive following on social media are invited for the halftime shows.