Figures released by Nielsen Sports show the growing rise in interest of cycling around the world, most notably in the Asian region.
Of the markets measured, Hong Kong shows the largest shift in interest in cycling, growing from 39% in 2013 to 48% today, an increase of nine percentage points. Japan shows the second largest growth over the same period, where the popularity of cycling has jumped by seven percentage points, from 14% to 21% today.
The third biggest grower in terms of national interest in the sport is China. Chinese interest in cycling has grown six percentage points, from 19% in 2013 to a quarter (25%) of the population today saying they are interested in the sport.
This growth in Chinese interest is something sport’s rights owners are already taking advantage of. The UCI has recently announced a new Chinese World Tour race, the Tour of Guangxi which starts in October later this year, a Tour which is set to run for at least the next three years. The Tour de France criterium as well as the Etape China by le Tour de France are also making an entry into China in 2017.
Son of a professional tour rider and Managing Director for Nielsen Sports in South-East Asia and Greater China, Claude Ringuet said:
“We’re seeing a significant spike in interest in cycling across the region with numerous events being staged, especially in China. Increased investment and activation from the world’s top cycling brands targeting the region, a growing middle class, increased investment in cycling infrastructure and the staging of major cycling events have all contributed to this growth we’re seeing. The growth in both interest and steady participation increases are insights essential for both brands and rights owners looking to capitalize on this growth in public interest in the sport.”
The data that comes from Nielsen Sports’ Sports DNA, the world’s largest syndicated sports research survey which twice a year measures the responses of 1000 people aged 16-69 in each of the thirty-three international markets monitored, also shows interest growth in cycling’s heartland markets.
Since 2013, France’s interest in cycling has grown a further six percentage points, from 34% to 40% today. Italian interest is also up by three percentage points from 40% to 43% today and Spain’s national interest in the sport now sits at 46%, up two percentage points since 2013.
Large population markets such as the US, Russian and India are all included in cycling’s top ten growth markets by interest which will be further good news for the sport ahead of the Tour de France this weekend.