What Sparks Rooting Interest in a Sports Team?

September 17th, 2019

With sports season now underway, we got insights from 1,061 of our panelists in the US on which sports they watch regularly and whether they have “a team”. 

Football emerges as the top professional sport watched regularly and half of those surveyed are loyal to a specific football team. Secondarily, 38% watch pro basketball and/or baseball on the regular.

Proximity plays a role in allegiance towards a team. To this point, the majority who root for a particular football, basketball, or baseball team indicating “their team” is located within 100 miles of where they currently live or where they grew up (ranging from 63% for football to 71% for baseball).

Appreciation of a particular athlete also informs which teams to root for. Respondents under age 35, in particular, have been swayed to root for a new team after an athlete they really like switched teams.

Football is the most common sport to keep up with, in order to contribute to conversations at work or social functions.

As for college sports, the majority of males watch (at least occasionally) college football (73%) or basketball (67%).

We also wanted to get a pulse on the current discussions around allowing college athletes to get paid for endorsements. The majority of our panelists agree with LeBron that college athletes should be eligible to receive money for endorsements.

Any specific sports headlines that have been the center of recent conversations you’ve participated in?

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