Football Fans and Enthusiasts- 18-30Year Old's Psychographics
Young adult football fans exhibit an intense love for the sport in both the U.S. and the U.K. The game is experienced differently in the U.K. versus the U.S., and this contributes to the differences in fan behavior, values, interests, hobbies, and spending habits.
Values and Attitudes
- Many European football fans have moved to the U.S. and they have brought their cultural behaviors with them. An executive from Anheuser-Busch, a corporate sponsor of the FIFA World Cup, explains that the football-watching culture in America is growing, and a huge influence is " from internationals moving to New York, carrying their traditions and their fandom with them."
- A significant portion of U.S. football fans identify as Hispanic, and their support for Spanish football teams is strong. Wells Fargo has intentionally sponsored the Mexican National Team, and also hosts viewing parties whenever the U.S. and Mexico have a match.
- Most young adult football fans identify as male, and the highest percentage of football fans in the U.S. are ages 25-34.
- U.S. soccer fans rely on the internet for leisure, shopping, and daily tasks.
- Football fans in the U.S. report that they enjoy the football culture, "the chants, the scarves, the tifos."
- Spectators in both the U.S. and the U.K. do not believe it is necessary to view games in person. Manchester United club claims to have 659 million supporters but their stadium's capacity is 75,731. This indicates that only 0.01% of the club’s fans can watch a match live.
- Young adult U.S. fans crave different forms of viewing football. Fans connect with others about games on social media, wager bets online, view game highlights on YouTube.
- U.S. fans pay close attention the brands worn by the players, both on and off the field. What they observe has a direct influence on what they prefer to wear themselves.
- Fans carry their interest in football into the workplace. It is common for U.S. young adult fans to have a soccer game playing "in the background" while they are at work.
- Both in the U.K. and in the U.S., data crunching has become commonplace in analyzing soccer matches, and fans rely on this information to interpret the game. There is a new "way of thinking about soccer—a focus on tactical analysis and data crunching, whereby the inherently fluid rhythm of the game is dissected into statistically surveyable chunks." Such data, released overtly in social media, includes the percentage of time each team has the ball or the number of assists a specific player has earned.
- When asked what the most pressing issue is in their home country, U.S. young adult fans slightly differ from their U.K. counterparts. U.K. fans cite racism as the largest problem, where U.S. fans equally list racism, grassroots investments, environmental causes, and diversity.
- The behavior of fans attending live matches varies significantly in the U.S. versus the U.K. In the U.S., crowds are generally in control, display positive sportsmanship, and have a family-friendly atmosphere. In contrast, in the U.K., the "level of obscenity and abuse (at their own team, most of the time) is really over the top at English grounds."
- The number of young adult fans of women's football is growing in both the U.S. and in the U.K. Nearly one in five adults in the U.K. refer to themselves as fans of women's football, as compared to 25% of Americans. These percentages are increasing by upwards of 50% annually. In fact, the Women’s World Cup final drew higher U.S. viewer ratings than the men’s final.
- Out-of-control behavior at U.K. football matches, or "Hooliganism," has become associated with U.K. football fans. The over-zealous fan base, overwhelmingly young adults, have required riot police to break up fights between rival fans. Throughout the world, U.K. adult football fans have a reputation for violent behavior at games. This includes "damage to public buildings, injuries to passers-by and chaos around stadiums." U.K. fans also enjoy behaviors steeped in tradition. Throughout the game, fans chant and sing in unison, and a U.K. crowd is filled with instruments, noisemakers, whistles, banners, painted faces, and fans sporting team shirts and scarves.
Hobbies and Interests
- U.S. young adult soccer fans enjoy e-sports tournaments and digital games.
- Drinking beer while attending football-related matches is a popular activity in the U.S.
- U.S. Soccer fans in this age group are also fans of baseball, football, basketball, and fantasy sports. U.K. fans are quite fond of the table game of Foosball.
- Young adult football enthusiasts in the U.S. read the New York Times and follow BBC and Google News. They regularly use LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter in their daily lives and to connect with other football fans. Fans in the U.K. also use social media, but they believe that "Twitter gives a more diverse impression of the game."
- Young adult football fans with children enjoy sharing their love of the sport with their kids. Entire families attend games and engage in a favorite U.S. pastime, tailgating. Tailgating often includes a party atmosphere with barbecues and other activities in the parking lot. Fans in the U.K. do not engage in tailgating, and only certain parts of the stadium are deemed family friendly.
- The 20 to 24 year old U.S. football fan spends more on "spectator-focused services and products (game tickets, TV subscriptions, etc.)." Adult fans in both the U.S. and the U.K. rarely pay to watch a game in person, as they have numerous options to watch it on a screen. Millennials also frequently watch without paying. According to one report, 58 per cent of under-30s admitted that they stream games illegally.
- U.S. fans will often venture to a breakfast venue, where they will purchase breakfast while watching the game. This is due to the time difference when watching the European games.
- Young adult football fans enjoy consuming beer, and they frequent sports bars and special viewing events in order to do so.
- When making purchasing decisions, U.S. adult fans indicate that advertising plays a big part, "followed by expert recommendations and brand reputation."
- U.S. football fans frequently purchase sports-themed home decor and apparel.
- A recent survey conducted in the U.K. determined that two-thirds of fans used cash to fund their soccer-watching habit, while a quarter used credit cards. While at a live match, they do not spend money on alcohol because it is not legal to consume alcohol while attending a game. A recent survey conducted by Lyst showed that female football fans are increasingly purchasing football-inspired fashion. Internet searches for these items have increased 520% since 2017. Another recent survey of UK football fans revealed a desire for "personalised TV channels, with audiences willing to pay extra for access."
In order to complete this psychographic profile, we consulted a variety of reputable newspaper articles, journals, and blogs. We were also able to review several key surveys and studies which greatly informed our research. All of the data we obtained generalized groups as young adults or placed them in the category of 20-24-year-olds. As such, our research reflects information for a population from late-teens to late-twenties. We were careful to avoid any data attributed to football fans under the age of 18, as this will be addressed in a separate request.