Biathlon at summit of Germany’s growing interest in winter sports

With winter sports on the rise in Germany and maintaining a stable position at the summit in terms of public interest in Austria and Switzerland, now may be the one of the best times for both brands and right holders involved in the sports to optimise their engagement.

Winter sports in general is already the most followed sport category in Austria and Switzerland ranking above all other forms of sport including football, tennis and motorsport. In Austria, over half of the population (53%) are interested in winter sports, followed closely by Switzerland where national interest (45%).

Whilst interest across the three markets has remained stable since 2013, it is the German market which has shown promising signs of growth. In 2013, 33% of Germans were interested in winter sports compared to the 36% seen today.

In Germany, winter sports are now only second to football in terms of national interest.

Amongst Germans, biathlon is by far the most followed. Almost half of the population (47%) say that they regularly or occasionally watch biathlon on TV which is helping brands such as BMW and Viessmann to be amongst the top five most recalled brands in Germany when people are asked to list sponsors which are involved in winter sports. This kind of brand visibility and fan recall is something which should please federations too, in this case, the International Biathlon Union (IBU).

Biathlon is not just a sport popular in Germany however, with over a third (34%) of people in Austria interested in the sport and just under a quarter (22%) in Switzerland.

Lars Stegelmann, Executive Vice President Commercial Operations, Repucom Germany, said:

“This huge level of interest and engagement the sports enjoy generally across these three core markets is allowing brands a range of opportunities to tailor campaigns which deliver high awareness and appeal.

“This is something which continues to be largely based around the partnerships brands are able to build and maintain with the number of federations that govern the sports globally such as the IBU. In turn, this offers federations an opportunity to develop successful commercial strategies, increase revenues and as a result, help to develop participation, profile and fan engagement across the sports.”