Though they represent a large and increasingly integral segment of the U.S. sports fan base, Millennials bring to the table a unique challenge: Unlike their Baby Boomer and Gen X predecessors, Millennials follow a much broader range of both traditional and alternative sports as adults, and despite having less time on their hands, have a far greater selection of viewing alternatives.
L.E.K. Consulting recently conducted a survey of individuals from different age groups, including both avid and casual sports fans, in an effort to gauge changes in attitudes and behaviors around both traditional and emerging U.S. sporting events, including the way these events are covered.
As Millennials continue to back away from mainstream media, they are likely to become increasingly disengaged from sports in terms of viewership and fandom — that is, unless industry heads are able to respond to these changes in a proactive manner.
In the first of a two-part Executive Insights series, L.E.K. looks at the various forces reshaping sports fandom in the U.S. In particular, we examine how engagement, preferences and trends across traditional and alternative segments (e.g., eSports), as well as emerging platforms (e.g., over-the-top broadband Internet television (OTT)), are poised to redraw the map for teams, leagues, broadcasters and marketers/retailers.