Sports Popularity Among U.S. Sports Fans - Hockey 6th

Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Hockey Forum' started by ebox99, Jan 26, 2011.

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  1. ebox99

    ebox99 Registered User

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    http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Daily/Issues/2011/01/Jan-25/Ratings-and-Research/Harris-Poll.aspx

    Nearly three in 10 Americans who follow at least one sport said that pro football is their favorite sport, according to data from the Harris Poll. Seventeen percent chose baseball as their favorite sport, narrowing the gap slightly from last year when more than 35% of sports fans said pro football was their favorite sport, compared to 16% who said it was baseball. The most recent poll also found that 12% of respondents said college football was their favorite sport, while 7% chose auto racing. Two sports from the most recent poll -- women's pro basketball and women's college basketball -- were not listed as the favorite sports of any fans. Since the Harris Poll first began asking this question in '85, pro football has increased 7% and baseball has fallen 6% (Harris Interactive).
    FAVORITE SPORTS AMONG U.S. FANS
    SPORT '10 '09 '08 '98 '85 % CHANGE ('85-10)

    Pro football 31% 35% 31% 26% 24% 7%
    Baseball 17% 16% 16% 18% 23% -6%
    College football 12% 12% 12% 9% 10% 2%
    Auto racing 7% 9% 8% 7% 5% 2%
    Men's pro basketball 6% 5% 6% 13% 6% 0%
    Hockey 5% 4% 5% 3% 2% 3%
    Men's soccer 4% 2% 3% 4% 3% 1%
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2011
  2. IU Hawks fan

    IU Hawks fan They call me IU

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    This only compares everyone's FAVORITE sport, though. College basketball is definitely more popular than hockey and I would argue the NBA, but it isn't many people's #1.
     
  3. y2kcanucks

    y2kcanucks I Am Negan Sponsor

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    This really doesn't look all that good. The NBA is beating the NHL in this, and College Basketball is almost as high as the NHL. :facepalm:
     
  4. ebox99

    ebox99 Registered User

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    Baseball's loss seems to be football's gain.

    Hockey did better than in 1985.
     
  5. tarheelhockey

    tarheelhockey Highest Boss

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    I wouldn't put too much stock in this. Partially for the reason IU identifies, that it's only asking each respondent for one choice. And also because it's heavily affected by niche markets. I'm sure if you polled the rural Latino population the results would be quite different than if you polled the urban African-American population, and the suburban white population would be different than either of them. Aside from ethnicity you can break it down by age group (horse racing), income level (golf), region (hockey), and so forth.

    What's important to the NHL is that it ranks highly in its target areas.
     
  6. barneyg

    barneyg Registered User

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    Isn't hockey actually 2nd to football in terms of growth since 1985?

    FWIW.
     
  7. MayDay

    MayDay Registered User

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    It's only asking favorites, so that can be a little misleading.

    In Buffalo, for instance (and I'd suspect a lot of other northern US markets), a ton of people would name football their favorite sport, but most of those people also love hockey and it would be number 2.

    In short, just because only 5% name hockey their favorite sport, doesn't mean only 5% are hockey fans.

    BTW, that 5% group isn't insignificant. 5% of the US population is about 15.6 million people, or about half the population of Canada.
     
  8. Moobles

    Moobles Registered User

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    It's an ordinal measurement of people's "favourite" sport, which can mean a lot of things. 5% is impressive given the breadth of competition, but I'd be more interested in a survey that looked at the % of Americans who followed hockey etc.
     
  9. MoreOrr

    MoreOrr B4

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    I guess it's all in how you look at it. In comparison to Football and Baseball, that 5% for hockey looks really poor. But then, below College Football, 7%, 6%, 5%, 4%... that's all really close. And hockey's numbers have been more on the growth side than the other two above hockey.

    What's really more worrying, and this relates with the MLS thread, is that soccer is right on hockey's heels. That to me is a coming issue of the hockey.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2011
  10. IU Hawks fan

    IU Hawks fan They call me IU

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    I find it hilarious how pro basketball was at 13% at the end of the Jordan Bulls era, and dropped 7% by the time they did the poll again.
     
  11. Buck Aki Berg

    Buck Aki Berg Done with this place

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    Take THAT, soccer!
     
  12. MayDay

    MayDay Registered User

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    Soccer popularity seems to cycle up and down on this survey, rather than show a consistent trend.

    3% -> 4% -> 3% -> 2% -> 4%

    Worth noting that the two years with a soccer high point of 4% (1998 and 2010) were both World Cup years, and all the other years were not.
     
  13. tarheelhockey

    tarheelhockey Highest Boss

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    IMO, soccer is driven more by interest in the World Cup and Olympics than by daily interest. I don't see pro or college soccer in its current form ever becoming a big deal in the United States.
     
  14. Alan Jackson

    Alan Jackson Registered User

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    So...soccer. The world's most popular sport. Playable by anyone and everyone. Heck, all you need is a ball. Played by millions of American kids. The term "soccer mom" is a popular phrase in the American lexicon. Yet as a spectator sport, it has never really gained traction in the United States.

    What does that say about hockey's chances to ever become anything other than a regional sport in the US?
     
  15. tarheelhockey

    tarheelhockey Highest Boss

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    I'd say it clearly demonstrates that there is not an absolute correlation between playing a sport and following it passionately as a spectator. Which is excellent news for hockey as a spectator sport.
     
  16. MAROONSRoad

    MAROONSRoad f/k/a Ghost

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    Hockey may be 6th in the USA as a whole at 5%, but where does that place it in the sunbelt -- 10th at less than 2%? I'd like to see a regional breakdown.

    GHOST
     
  17. Shawa666

    Shawa666 Registered User

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    THIS
     
  18. Brodie

    Brodie Marxist-Harbaughist

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    There are a lot of northern markets where the reverse would be true, Ghost.
     
  19. Hammer79

    Hammer79 Registered User

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    On the bright side, the number of those naming hockey as their favorite has increased 250% since '85 and 170% since '98. That's pretty good, considering that baseball has shed 26% of their fans (naming baseball as their #1 sport) since '85, the NBA lost 54% since '98, and the NFL has only seen a 29% increase since '85.
     
  20. Kitsune

    Kitsune Registered User

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    See... this is why I think the NHL needs to look at other american markets first. The NHL is on the verge of leaping basketball and auto-racing, and if we would get a NHL team in Seattle, which has the strongest hockey history of any non-nhl market (thats going to ruffle feathers and I dont mean to, the only city I see close is Quebec City), it would only further strengthen the game. And there are talks about renovating there Arena too. Before the NBA killed the arena in the mid-90s, it was a very suitable 12K seat arena for hockey. And then, we can shift our focus back to Canada..
     
  21. Pinkfloyd

    Pinkfloyd Registered User

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    So it's really 5th because NASCAR isn't actually a sport. :P
     
  22. Fidel Astro

    Fidel Astro Registered User

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    AUTO RACING?!?

    What the hell is in the water down there?
     
  23. MAROONSRoad

    MAROONSRoad f/k/a Ghost

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    Yep, I realize that. It's partly my point, actually.

    GHOST
     
  24. MoreOrr

    MoreOrr B4

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    Hey, I like (used to more) auto racing, though not all types.

    Back in the 80s and 90s, I used to say I had 3 favorite sports:
    1. The NHL
    2. The NFL
    3. The Indy Cart series

    But of course, back in the 70s I would've said:
    1. The NHL
    2. The CFL
    3. Golf
    4. Boxing
    5. Tennis
    So what does that say about me? :dunno:
     
  25. Mayor Bee

    Mayor Bee Registered User

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    On the other hand, I've always found it easier to get football fans to watch hockey than fans of other sports. Speed, incredible skill at top speed, and thunderous hitting is a huge part of the appeal of football, and that's basically hockey in a nutshell.

    And if there's anywhere where football is more popular than "the sunbelt"....
     

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