New report into how sponsors should see fans launches

Fan Revolution Report

London, 20.08.15 – Nielsen Sports, the trusted advisor in sports and entertainment intelligence, has today released a ground-breaking study into the behaviour and attitudes of sports fans, which sheds new light on their relationship with brands and rights holders and outlines the differences between what they say and what they do.

The Fan Revolution report, available to download for free, charts the changing expectations and demands of fans in a technology-dominated age and the changing dynamics of those relationships – a move from a passive to interactive experience.

Underpinning the report is Fan DNA™, Nielsen Sports´ pioneering behavioural research into fandom. The new study defining fans by behaviour has shown that, for example, the United States has a higher proportion of Connection Fans, a group whose principal underlying motivation for being a fan is the opportunity it creates to watch or attend events with friends or family. Japan, by contrast, has a higher proportion of Armchair Fans, while in Germany the proportion of Game Experts – the group focused on the intrinsic detail of the sport – is higher.


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In all, seven clear fan groups emerged from the research, each with their own distinctive characteristics, behavioural tendencies and attitudes to sport and sponsors. Each group contains both men and women of all ages and incomes, with those identifying themselves as the most avid fans also spread across each of the groups. Repucom found that self-identified avidity was a relatively poor predictor of the strength of response to sponsorship – the Trend Positive and Connection Fan groups emerged as the most likely to respond most positively to sponsoring brands.

Fan DNA™’s purpose is to assist brands acquiring sponsorship packages or rights holders creating sales propositions make more targeted and profitable sponsorship strategy decisions.

Mike Wragg, Global Head of Research, Nielsen Sports, said: “In this increasingly complex and nuanced information age, rights holders, broadcasters and sponsors need a map for this new global fan base.

“Repucom clients are already using Fan DNA™ to not only make better sponsorship decisions, but also to design much more effective communication and activation initiatives. Crucially, they can now also track the performance of their investments in terms of the behaviour change of each fan segment, and embed this deep understanding of fans into their CRM systems to accelerate real value creation across their whole fan base.”

Fan DNA™ has been created using a meta-analysis of the many millions of fan interviews Repucom has conducted across the world over the past decade, to help create a new piece of behavioural research across eight key markets – the UK, USA, Germany, China, Japan, Australia, Malaysia and Mexico. The research traces the ‘fan journey’ of each respondent, charting changing attitudes and consumer behaviour from childhood.

Repucom’s Fan Revolution report, included detailed information on Fan DNA and the seven distinct fan groups, is available to download, for free, now.