Data revealed by Nielsen Sports, the global leader in sports data, analytics and insight, shows the number of people interested in the Ryder Cup has surged over the last four years.

Fan sizes ahead of the upcoming tournament, which tees off in Paris on 28 September 2018, compared to the same period ahead of the last event to be hosted in Europe in 2014, shows fan the number of fans has leapt by more than 6.7 million people. 

Interest in the Ryder Cup, the biennial international golf event battled out between the U.S. and European teams, naturally peaks and falls either side of the event. The number of Ryder Cup fans peaked ahead of the 2016 event in Hazeltine, U.S., and whilst those numbers have cooled slightly since the last competition, it is once again on the rise.

With the both continents alternating the hosting of the Ryder Cup each time, interestingly there is a difference in the way fan interest shifts. Where numbers naturally decline following a U.S. event, they peak following a European event. It is this that provides an indication which suggests the 2018 event in France could see fans numbers climb further, something organisers, brands and broadcasters will be looking to capitalise on.


“During the last Ryder Cup on European soil in 2014, there was an uplift of an additional 6.4m fans in the months following the event

said, Marco Nazzari, Managing Director Europe, Nielsen Sports.


“Although those numbers return to their pre-event levels within 12 months, it will be interesting to see what impact this, only the second Ryder Cup to be hosted in continental Europe, will have on fans sizes. For brands and broadcasters looking to capitalise on this surge of new fans, understanding who these fans are, their propensity to purchase from sponsoring and the way fans consume content, will all be vital considerations they will need to make”


Ahead of the 2018 competition, the U.K. is the market with the biggest proportion of Ryder Cup fans. 20% of people in the UK claim to be interested or very interested in the Ryder Cup, a number which could increase following the 2018 event. The U.S. ranks second in terms of percentage of the population who are fans (15%), followed by Spain (12%), hosts France (6%), Germany (6%) and Italy (6%).

If interest in the Ryder Cup grows at the same rate it has done over the last four years in the US and Europe, there is likely to be a further 1%-point increase in the number of fans across both markets, which although may sound small, is significant across the collective populations.