Research

In March 2020, the start of the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic led major league professional sports competitions around the world to shut down for the foreseeable future. During the hours, days, and weeks that followed, sports organizations began stepping up their responsibility in helping their communities during this difficult time. In doing so, they demonstrated how businesses deemed “non-essential” during a pandemic, could turn out to be quite vital. Chelsea Football Club has provided one such example.

In his recently published organizational profile titled “Chelsea Football Club – An Example of Social Responsibility During the Covid-19 Pandemic,” Lee H. Igel, PhD, who is a clinical professor within the Preston Robert Tisch Institute for Global Sport, identified the club’s many ongoing efforts and new initiatives, which were designed to respond to the needs of fans, employees, neighbors, partners, and the greater community during the pandemic. This profile, which includes reflections from executives at Chelsea, Chelsea Foundation, Britain's National Health Service (NHS), and Refuge charity, describes the decisions and actions that led the Club to advancing these new initiatives and building upon existing programming in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact across communities.


Female sport fandom is on the rise, but sports organizations and brands haven’t always addressed the needs of this important sports consumer. A new study by Bri Newland, PhD, clinical associate professor and academic director, and Ted Hayduk, PhD, clinical assistant professor, "Female Sport Fandom: Insights from the Growing Female Market,” aims to help the sports industry better appreciate and connect with today’s female fans.

For their study, sponsored by FOX Sports, Newland and Hayduk examined responses from 1,796 women across different geographies, age groups, socioeconomic backgrounds, and households, who were followers of a wide range of professional sports—including the NFL, NBA, MLB, MLS, eSports, and stock car racing.


Read a study conducted by Brandon Brown, PhD, clinical associate professor at the Tisch Institute for Global Sport: The Black Market: Re-Examining African American Sport Consumers in the 21st Century.” 

The study provides a snapshot of the African American sport consumer, helping sports teams, leagues, and marketers to better understand the nature of this group’s fandom, the sports with which they identify, engage, and for which they have a passion, as compared with other racial groups.


Infographic on Fan Avidity by Generation

Fan Avidity

The research results indicate that Gen Z claim to be the most avid sports fans, especially relative to Baby Boomers. This data refers to Gen Z and Baby Boomer self­reporting, referring to their "favorite sport".

Fan Loyalty

The rise of the athlete brand-Loyalty to athletes (more than teams) is a common theme for Gen Z. No doubt this has been driven by greater access to athletes via social media.

Infographic on team loyalty vs athletes