Having a love of sports is a strong personality trait, but what drives sports fandom? There are a variety of reasons that people watch sports. Some are devoted to specific teams, while others are looking for a certain level of entertainment. There are also rituals for sports consumption.
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Gen Z vs millennials
Despite their relatively low number of sports fans, Generation Z and Millennials are looking to change the way sports are consumed. According to a new study, young people are consuming sports content in new and more social ways. Rather than watching games from start to finish, they are following athletes and interacting with brands on social media.
Gen Z is more likely to watch highlights online or on TikTok than they are to watch the actual game. They are also twice as likely to follow sports media companies on social media. This can be used as an opportunity to build relationships with Gen Z.
The study also found that Generation Z fans are more likely to share their content on social media than they are to watch a game. Their preferred platforms are Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat. They want to create and curate their own content. They want to feel part of the sports narrative.
Sports are one of the few categories where the younger generation is more likely to tune into the game. However, the amount of sports media consumed by all generations is on the decline.
Ritual aspects of sports consumption
Whether consumers are active participants or passive observers, the ritual aspects of sports consumption play a role in the identification process. These ritual characteristics allow consumers to develop self identities based on traditional values. They may also be the conduit through which a consumer integrates brands with his or her cultural values.
In their recent study, Abercombie and Longhurst categorized the sports consumption experience in a way that is more complex than just consuming the product. They grouped consumers on a continuum of audience identities, from casual sports spectators to serious fans. They noted that the most interesting and unique aspects of sports consumption involve ritualization.
They also noted that there are many different rituals. For example, fans wear team colors and flags to evoke symbolic meanings. There are also support group activities and collective cheering.
These rituals provide fans with an opportunity to celebrate the cultural values embedded in sports consumption. They also provide fans with additional reasons to attend games.
Covid-19 pandemic has created a void for sports fans
During the last year, the COVID-19 pandemic has had an enormous impact on the sports world. Not only has it shut down several sports events, but it has also affected the sports industry on a global scale. In fact, the pandemic has killed thousands of people and plunged the global economy into its deepest downturn since the Great Depression. All parts of the sporting value chain have been affected. Several sports leagues have shut down for the entire year, and the NCAA has cancelled men's and women's basketball tournaments.
It's unclear how this will affect the overall sports industry, but it is likely that sports fans will find ways to keep entertained. They may watch more TV, read books, or find new hobbies. They will also reconnect with family and friends. It is also likely that sports gambling will increase viewership and engagement. And, as more people find themselves interested in esports, the industry will need to evolve to fit into a post-coronavirus world.