Sports’ Gen Z Problem

    • 39% of Gen Z said they never watch sports.
    • This article was first published in the FOS Daily Newsletter. Subscribe here.

Daily Newsletter

Sign up and see why influential business executives call it a “morning must-read.”

America’s youth aren’t identifying as sports fans. A recent survey by Morning Consult found that just 53% of Gen Z respondents — those aged 13-23 — identify as sports fans. That’s down from 69% of millennials and 63% of adults overall. A whopping 39% of Gen Z said they never watch sports.

The generational divide was most evident when looking at males, in which 58% of Gen Z males are sports fans, compared to 75% of all men. Gen Z did outperform all adults in interest for three of 27 sports: NBA, esports and UFC.

Gen Z’s relative ambivalence to sports shows why tapping into their consumption habits — like TikTok and mobile-first tendencies — is a key objective moving forward for sports organizations.

Gen Z Sports Withdrawal:

  • 49% are fans of the NFL (vs 59% of all adults)
  • 47% are fans of the NBA (vs 45%)
  • 35% are fans of esports (vs 19%)
  • 32% are fans of MLB (vs 50%)
  • 29% are fans of UFC (vs 29%)
  • 25% are fans of the NHL (vs 38%)