Survey data shows that men's and women's basketball are very popular with Gen Z fans
The GIST: Gen Z might like (some) sports after all. Despite the generation’s notable apathy towards the industry, a recent survey from data insights company Kantar revealed men’s and women’s basketball are more popular with Gen Z than with American sports fans overall.
The numbers: While 21% of American sports fans across all age groups say they’re avid fans of the WNBA, 27% of Gen Zers enjoy the league. The figures are similar for NCAA women’s hoops — 21% of all fans watch women’s college basketball, while 26% of Gen Z fans keep up with it.
- The gulf is large in the men’s game, too. Forty-three percent of all sports fans follow the NBA compared to 58% of Gen Z fans, and 35% of general sports fans enjoy NCAA men’s hoops compared to 41% of Gen Zers.
The trends: Younger fans also outperform the national average when it comes to other women’s sports–related variables — 62% of Gen Z fans would watch more women’s games if they were easier to find compared to 55% of all sports fans. A whopping 65% of all fans, though, want sports culture to be more inclusive towards women. Same.
- Sports fans across different age and gender demographics still typically prefer watching men’s sports over women’s sports, but the limited accessibility to women’s sports likely impacts this imbalance.
Zooming out: Kantar argues that basketball could dethrone football as America’s sport of choice if Gen Zers have their say, which would dramatically alter the sports business landscape as we know it. The survey also confirms a major truth about Gen Z consumers — inclusivity is key to earning their attention and dollars.