For a proud sporting nation used to success, Australia has had to endure a rare extended lean period since the London 2012 Olympics. In another blow to Australia’s sporting mythology, Repucom’s latest research results bring into question the nation’s famed support of all things sport. The 2013 second quarter results of Repucom’s SponsorLink study looked at Australian fan avidity for national teams compared with their closest neighbour New Zealand and the level of their enthusiasm for national teams.
The main sports that were looked at included Rugby Union, football, Rugby League, cricket and netball. The clear stand out is Rugby Union – 14% of Australians are passionate fans of the Wallabies, whereas in New Zealand, a whopping 55% of the population declare avidity for the All Blacks. Continuing the trend is netball, with 27% of the New Zealand population eagerly supporting the Silver Ferns, compared with only 9% of Australians supporting The Diamonds. Football and Rugby League show little difference between Australian and New Zealand avidity. We claw back some vestige of sporting pride in cricket, with 28% of Aussie fans are avid, trumping the Kiwi’s Black Caps avid support at 22%.
Overall, however, the study reveals that New Zealand has a greater proportion of enthusiastic fans for their national teams than Australians do in general. Given that avid followers are the key to financial security for all sports, poor on field performance hurts the bottom line as well as our ego.