Nearly two fifths of soccer fans (38 per cent) believe their enjoyment of next summer’s Uefa Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Germany would not be affected if they couldn’t watch live matches, according to a new study by Footballco.
- Italian fans place greatest importance on live broadcast, with just 25 per cent saying their enjoyment wouldn’t be affected without live coverage.
- Turkey is least attached to live with 47 per cent saying their enjoyment wouldn’t be affected.
- 37 per cent of English fans claim they could live without live, rising to 42 per cent of Gen Z fans aged between 16 and 24.
- 61 per cent of fans aged 45 or older said live was the best way to consume live soccer, compared to 51 per cent of Gen Z fans
- 21 per cent of older fans interested in online content, compared to 40 per cent of Gen Z
The study reaffirms changing consumption habits among younger soccer fans who interact with sport in different ways to previous generations. Live coverage is now just one of several channels in which fans consume soccer, alongside digital highlights, social media and video games.
Andrew Baker, head of strategy at Footballco, said: “We’ve witnessed the decline in the importance of watching a live 90-minute match with young fans for some time now, but seeing how little importance some place on this when it’s a tournament as big as Euro 2024 is surprising.
“It’s not that fans don’t care about Euro 2024, even this far out. Across the rest of the study, we see great enthusiasm for it and optimism. In the quantitative work, we see many fans cite Euro 2024 as a positive event in a world where such positivity is often lacking.
“Football has never been a more effective marketing platform, but this research backs up previous studies of ours that highlight how fandom is more diverse now than ever and so is how fans choose to engage with the sport. Long gone are the days when running campaigns through TV ad breaks and pitch-side branding were a guarantee to reach all fans. Instead, brands need to engage different fan communities via multiple touchpoints across digital, social and beyond.”
Euro 2024 begins on 14th June in Munich when hosts Germany take on Scotland at the Allianz Arena. The BBC and ITV hold the broadcast rights to the tournament in the UK.
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