BLOG | by Victor Gras

Who is watching the Tour de France – and why?

With the Tour de France in full flow, we have asked some questions around the event in some of cycling’s biggest markets – USA, UK and France.

Followership

Unsurprisingly, it’s France where the Tour commands the biggest audience. Around a third of French respondents told us that they planned to watch the event, compared to around half that figure in the US (15%) and the UK (16%).

In each market, 6% of respondents told us that they would follow the Tour via the newspaper or the press.

When we asked those who didn’t plan to watch the Tour de France why that was, the most common answers across all markets was that respondents had either never been interested in the sport or considered the sport to be boring.

Residents of France were by far the most likely to tell us that they didn’t watch the sport because they believe that all of the riders are doping (10% of French respondents agreed with this option, compared to just 3% in the US and UK).

Favourite contest

In each market we also asked respondents about their interest in each of the various contests that take place as part of the Tour de France.

As you can see from the chart above, it is the general classification (or yellow jersey) which commands the most interest in each market.

In the US, the second most-followed contest is the team classification followed by the polka dot (or King of the Mountains) jersey. In the UK, it is the polka dot jersey followed by the team classification. And in France it is also the polka dot jersey which follows the general classification, although the GC beats all other contests by a significant margin compared to the US and the UK.

Why watch?

We also asked people why they tuned in to the Tour and the differences between countries were really interesting.

Respondents in the UK and France both chose the same top three answers. But in the United States, the most popular answer was that they didn’t know why they were watching, and Americans where the only set of respondents who listed following home athletes as a top three reason to follow the event.

Following home athletes was the fourth reason in both France and the UK.

Favourite types of stage

Finally, we asked people in each country which kind of stage they preferred.

In every country, climbing stages came out on top (in France, by a huge margin), with rolling stages coming second in France and the US. Outside of mountain stages, though, it’s fairly level-pegging for other types of stage in the UK and the US. Team time-trialing comes last (or joint last) in each country.

BLOG | by Victor Gras

VICTOR GRAS
Head of Client Services

Joining SMG Insight in March 2018, Victor brings seven years of global sports sponsorship expertise. In his last role, he led Nielsen’s Market Intelligence activity across all US verticals, working with brands, rights holders and agency clients. He also worked previously with the New York Road Runners, where he helped TCS launch the title partnership of the NYC Marathon, as well as with the ASO, optimizing sponsorship strategies for the Tour de France and the Paris Marathon.

E victor.gras@smg-insight.com