Gen Z Less Into Sports Than Older Generations

Members of Generation Z are not showing the same enthusiasm for professional sports as their older peers. Polling from Morning Consult shows that 53 percent of Gen Z identify as sports fans, compared to 63 percent of all adults and 69 percent of Millennials.

Morning Consult’s August poll of 1,000 members of Gen Z also found them less likely to identify with specific sports properties compared to the greater population. Its survey highlighted 27 sports or competitions and found the Gen Z respondents less likely than the general adult population to identify with 24 of them. However, Gen Z’s identification with esports and the NBA were ahead of the general population and tied on UFC.

Gen Z’s sports viewing habits also differed from their peers. A separate survey found that 42 percent of all adults and 50 percent of Millennials watched live sports at least once a week, while only 25 percent of Gen Z did the same. Gen Z’s were also more than twice as likely as Millennials to say they “never” watch live sports.

An open-ended survey question polled Gen Z’s on their favorite sports figures. Four of the top five were NBA players, with the late Kobe Bryant leading the pack, ahead of LeBron James. Argentinian soccer player Lionel Messi came in third, with Stephen Curry and Michael Jordan rounding out the top five. Soccer players, both male and female, received 14 percent of all the survey’s “favorite” responses among Gen Z’s, third behind the NBA and the NFL.

MLB and the NHL both trailed in Gen Z’s enthusiasm in the survey. It found 32 percent of Gen Z’s described themselves as avid or casual fans of the MLB, and 25 percent said the same about the NHL. These responses place them as the sixth and nineth most popular sports among this demographic.

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