Is social responsibility important to sports fans? How do they respond to these topics? With over three-quarters of adults around the globe following at least one sport, gathering for a sporting event is, for many, a chance to feel part of a community and to come together around a shared interest. In such emotionally charged moments, the brands that sponsor or are involved in sports have an opportunity to create positive associations in the mind of the consumer by tailoring their communications to this highly engaged audience.

YouGov’s study looks at whether social responsibility is important to sports fans, measures their attitudes, and delves deep into their expectations of sports rights holders and their sponsors to get involved in these matters and ultimately champion change. As those conversations enter our homes, workplaces, and schools, marketers have been discussing and studying the need to bring brand purpose and corporate social responsibility into their marketing mix. With activism on the rise and awareness around these issues constantly growing, younger generations, in particular, are expressing a preference for brands that deliver on those purpose statements.

Is social responsibility important to sports fans – the content themes

The report is split into three main sections:

  1. Understanding the size and drive of sports fans – an overview of the global reach of sports and identifying the size of the sports fan base.  Sports’ role in fans’ lives is explored, and the issues that matter most to them are identified.
  2. What do sports fans expect from sports organisations? – the global fan base cares about social issues relating to the environment, equality, diversity, and inclusion. It is looking for sports rights holders and athletes to support social causes that matter to them. There is a desire among the sporting world that sports rights holders should be leading the way on social responsibility. Fans will hold these organisations to account if they aren’t authentic and transparent in articulating and delivering their social promise. This section of the report explores what sports fans want from brands, the causes they feel are acceptable for brands to stand on, the issues they would like their favorite sports teams to support actively, and where improvements can be made. A spotlight is shone on a subgroup of sports fans, the socially conscious fan.
  3. Engaing with socially responsible sports fans – with the growing interest in sustainability and social issues among sports fans, it is essential for marketers to understand how to reach these ‘socially conscious’ sports enthusiasts with the right media and marketing messages. In this section, the report explores what types of media sports fans use to follow their favorite sports teams and leagues, their attitudes towards advertising and sponsorship, and how their consumption patterns and behaviors compared to socially conscious sports fans.

Click here to download the Is social responsibility important to sports fans? report.

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