BLOG | by Chris Todd

The affluent sports fan – where to find them, what makes them buy and what will give them a good time once they’re in

At YouGov Sport, we’re able to draw on our panel of 9m people around the world to really discover what the world is thinking. Our research and insight tools are designed to help marketers understand their core audience, their preferences and attitudes and turn that insight into meaningful action.

For the premium seating business, we thought we’d look at a specific audience – affluent sports fans – and provide you with a handful of insights which may help you understand your audience a little better.

So what can we tell you about this group, who we have defined as fans of sport who have a household income of $150k or more?

Where to engage the affluent sports fan?

First of all, how do you reach them with your marketing?

Our data suggests that, in terms of digital, you’d be well-advised to concentrate on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. Affluent sports fans are significantly more likely to have used these sites than regular fans in the last month – for example, in the case of LinkedIn, they are more than twice as likely to have visited.

If you want to reach this audience on TV, then primetime is when they are most likely to be tuning in. And you may be surprised to learn that magazine advertising is a good marketing option for you. Our affluent sports fan group is twice as likely to dip into a host of different types of magazine than your average fan – and that includes genres like sport, health, travel, tech, business, news and politics. Thinking about radio? Catch these fans between 6 and 10 in the morning, when 36% of them will be listening (compared to 28% of regular fans).

What will make affluent fans buy?

Now that our data has given us a better idea of how to reach affluent fans, what does it tell us might persuade them to buy?

Well, most of these fans don’t agree that they will only attend events organized by brands that they like – so they may be more open to a non-team-affiliated experience than you would think.

So what might tip the balance in favor of your offer? More than half (62%) tell us that they agree that brands should consider environmental sustainability when putting on an event. But they are also far more likely to agree with the statement that they like to work hard and play hard than regular fans – so they’re also looking to let their hair down a little too.

Referring specifically to sports events, affluent fans are much more likely to value proximity to the action (54% v 30%) than regular sports fans, as well as their seats’ location in the row (35% v 22%). Interestingly, they are much more likely to consider price too (59% v 47%).

In contrast, seat size comes low down the list of consideration, and is no more important than it is to regular fans, and nor is leg room, the location of restrooms or the merch that’s for sale.

What affluent sports fans expect once they’re inside the doors

Now you’ve got them through the doors, what does our data tell us about the brand and consumption preferences of our affluent fans?

Interestingly, they’re almost twice as likely to be vegetarian as regular sports fans (7% v 3.5%) and a little more likely to be vegan, so that’s something to bear in mind. They’re also twice as likely to consider the inclusion of organic ingredients as a criteria for selecting somewhere to eat out, as well as significantly more likely to consider sourcing, healthiness, seasonality and freshness when it comes to food.

When it comes to alcoholic drinks, wine is the favourite of these fans (18% compared to 10% for regular fans), with domestic, then craft-brewed beer coming up next.

The favorite beer brands for affluent fans also differ to those of regular fans. The top three are Corona, Guinness and Heineken (compared to Bud Light, Corona and Budweiser for regular fans). In the spirits market, Jack Daniel’s, Tito’s and Smirnoff come out on top for richer fans.

So there you have it – just a fraction of the insights we hold on just one audience segment. If you’re interested in how our data can help you deliver more effective marketing – and convert more sales – please get in touch. We’d be happy to tell you more.

Photos by Foto Sushi and Christina Wocintechchat

BLOG | by Chris Todd

Vice President of Sales, North America

Joining YouGov Sport in June 2019, Chris brings nine years of global sponsorship expertise. Chris’ previous roles cover numerous areas across sports & entertainment from sports sponsorship, to athlete marketing, to commercial music licensing. Chris currently serves as the VP of New Business for both YouGov Sport and YouGov North America.


Like to know more? Complete and submit our contact form to be directed to our team of experts to discuss your needs further.

We’ll be back in contact with you as soon as possible.