Fan Revolution

Understanding the fan in the global age of information

Global fans in the information age. Who are we? What motivates us? How do we create value?

As a professional industry has grown up around sport the definition of the ‘fan’ has, inevitably, become more complex and nuanced, as has the desire to understand precisely what makes them tick. Technology, meanwhile, is changing everything. What being a ‘fan’ means – the long-established pattern of behaviour we associate with fans – is being disrupted by a raft of new sport and entertainment formats and new ways of consuming them. Rights-holders, broadcasters and sponsors need a map for this new global fan landscape.

The Fan Revolution report (preview below) charts the changing relationship between fans and brands and rights-holders and introduces Repucom’s pioneering Fan DNA research, which has identified seven clearly differentiated groups of fans, each with their own distinctive characteristics, behavioural tendencies and attitudes to sport and sponsors – in particular, which type of fans respond most strongly to different sorts of sponsorship activation; it is the missing link between what fans say and what they actually do.

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The 7 behavioural segments

Repucom launched a meta-analysis of the many millions of fan interviews it has conducted across the world over the past decade, using this vast data mountain to develop a unique new piece of behavioural research across eight countries around the world. Over the summer of 2014, 8,000 new interviews were conducted across the UK, Germany, USA, China, Japan, Australia, Malaysia and Mexico – tracing the ‘fan journey’ of each respondent, from childhood through to the development of the combination of attitudes and consumer behaviour which defines them as a fan now.

Despite the incredibly diverse group of markets selected, seven clearly differentiated groups of fans emerged (the three main groups are shown below) – each one with their own distinctive characteristics, behavioural tendencies and attitudes to sport and sponsors.

Each of these groups contains both men and women of all ages and incomes. And the most ‘avid’ fans are also spread between a number of these groups. In fact, Repucom found that self-identified avidity was a relatively poor predictor of the strength of response to sponsorship.

Trend positives

Trend Positives | Fan DNA segment

They love sport – and what it says about them

Gender

male: 51%
female: 49%

Age groups

<30: 25%
30-49: 49%
50+: 26%

Income group

lower: 22%
middle: 28%
higher: 45%

Interested in sport

little: 16%
interested: 39%
very: 45%

Game Experts

Game Experts - Fan DNA segment

They want facts, statistics and tactics

Gender

male: 65%
female: 35%

Age groups

<30: 24%
30-49: 41%
50+: 35%

Income group

lower: 29%
middle: 30%
higher: 31%

Interested in sport

little: 22%
interested: 47%
very: 31%

Connection Fans

Connection Fans | Fan DNA segment

Coming together to enjoy sport

Gender

male: 51%
female: 49%

Age groups

<30: 39%
30-49: 47%
50+: 15%

Income group

lower: 25%
middle: 30%
higher: 37%

Interested in sport

little: 16%
interested: 41%
very: 43%