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February 24, 2020

New Study Conducted by the NYU School of Professional Studies Preston Robert Tisch Institute for Global Sport Indicates That African Americans are Currently the Most Passionate and Engaged Sports Fans Across Multiple Generations

NEW YORK, February 24, 2020 The NYU School of Professional Studies (NYUSPS) Preston Robert Tisch Institute for Global Sport today released a study, “The Black Market: Re-Examining African American Sport Consumers in the 21st Century.” The study, conducted by Dr. Brandon Brown, clinical associate professor at the Tisch Institute for Global Sport, 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.

Today’s global sport industry has an estimated worth of $620 billion,*  yet a valuable market segment that sports organizations and marketing agencies may not be fully tapping into or targeting is the African American sports consumer. At 47.8 million strong and a buying power that’s on par with many countries’ gross domestic products, African Americans continue to outpace spending nationally.**  The NYUSPS study*** offers an informed representation of African American sports consumption habits with implications for marketing.

Dr. Brown gathered information from a racially diverse sample of 2,278 individuals. Study results show that:

  • African Americans were #1 in identifying with a particular sport or team, and engaged with their favorite team at higher levels than their racial counterparts.
  • African Americans consume their favorite sport on television at significantly higher rates than all of their racial counterparts.
  • African American Millennials use new age, digital, and social media methods to engage in watching and interacting with sports as much as African American Gen Zers.
  • Thirty-two percent of African Americans are most passionate about following NBA Basketball, while only six percent and one percent are passionate about following MLB and NHL, respectively.
  • Forty-six percent of African American Boomers are most passionate about following football.

“Our research lends credence to the African America demographic being a highly valuable and worthwhile target market for today’s sports marketers,” said Dr. Brown. “Our study suggests that African Americans are not only the most highly identified sports fans, but are also the most passionate sports fans, and that they have the highest engagement levels of all groups.”

For a copy of the white paper summarizing the results of this study, click here.


About the NYU School of Professional Studies Preston Robert Tisch Institute for Global Sport
Recent innovations in global sports consumption, the use of online and social media to engage and to build a fan base, and the implementation of redesigned sports business models, have resulted in a range of issues and opportunities for individuals working in the sports industry. Successful professionals in this field now need to understand strategic business principles as they apply to different aspects of the global sports industry.

Through interdisciplinary curricula, field internships, alumni-student mentorship, applied research, individualized degree advisement, a dedicated and accomplished advisory board, and faculty members who are experts in their fields, the NYU School of Professional Studies Preston Robert Tisch Institute for Global Sport provides the pathway to help students meet their professional goals in the sports business industry.

The Tisch Institute's graduate and undergraduate programs provide a top-notch education and the opportunity to meet and to network with industry leaders. Its location in New York, home to more sports teams, leagues, and media outlets than any other metro area in the country, offers the perfect setting for gaining a comprehensive overview of the complexities of the business. The Institute’s renowned, highly attended professional conferences and events provide an unparalleled opportunity to learn from leaders in their fields. For more information, visit sps.nyu.edu/tisch.

About the NYU School of Professional Studies
For 85 years, the NYU School of Professional Studies has been a deeply respected institution of higher education that is grounded in applied learning. From its early years, training returning World War II veterans to fulfill the nation’s urgent need for skilled technical workers, it has evolved into a professional education powerhouse that offers 20 graduate degrees, 13 bachelor’s degrees for traditional and post-traditional students, four associate’s degrees, and a plethora of non-degree courses and credentials.

NYUSPS is a thought leader, and serves as an incubator for new ideas in industries that are constantly changing, including real estate, real estate development, and construction management; hospitality, tourism, travel, and event management; global affairs and global security, conflict, and cybercrime; global sport and sports business; publishing; marketing; public relations; project management; executive coaching and organizational consulting, human resource management and development, and human capital analytics and technology; management and systems; translation; and professional writing. It is focused on building skills that open doors to opportunities in emerging fields and global markets. NYUSPS faculty members are leading experts in their areas of discipline, with a hands-on approach that encourages students to push beyond their limits and to break new ground.

Home to some of the largest and most prestigious industry conferences in the world, including the Schack Institute of Real Estate’s Capital Markets Conference, REIT Symposium, and National Symposium of Women in Real Estate; and the Jonathan M. Tisch Center’s International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference, the School’s invaluable connections to industry leaders are a truly distinguishing factor in the education that it provides. Through career development services and resources provided by the NYU Wasserman Center for Career Development at NYUSPS, guest lecturers, site visits, participation in numerous conferences and events, and Global Field Intensives, students benefit from an NYU education that will set them apart. In addition, they have the opportunity to learn from and network with more than 27,000 NYUSPS alumni who live, work, and contribute to innovation in industry around the world. To learn more, visit sps.nyu.edu.


* Sport Industry Insights (2019). Medium. Retrieved from https://medium.com/qara/sports-industry-report-3244bd253b8

** African American Spending Power Demand that Marketers Show More Love and Support for Black Culture (2019). Nielsen. Retrieved from https://www.nielsen.com/us/en/press-releases/2019/african-american-spending-power-demands-that-marketers-show-more-love-and-support-for-black-culture/

*** “The Black Market: Re-Examining African American Sport Consumers in the 21st Century.” Dr. Brandon Brown, NYUSPS Preston Robert Tisch Institute for Global Sport, February 2020


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