Sports brands must recognise and work with the seven types of fans, report says

Sports fans demonstrate a range of different behaviours that can broadly be categorised into seven different fan types of which brands should be aware, according to a report by sports and entertainment intelligence adviser Repucom.

U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A: The most common fan type in the US is the 'connection' fan
U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A: The most common fan type in the US is the 'connection' fan

The Fan Revolution report looks at how technology has impacted the way people "watch, enjoy, engage and interact with sport" on a global level.

Through researching characteristics, behavioural tendencies and attitudes toward sport and sponsorship, Repucom was able to pinpoint clear groups and how sports culture differs from one country to the next.

According to the report, the most common fan type in the UK, US and China is the 'connection' fan, those who enjoy the social aspect of watching sport with friends and family.

Another group is the 'trend positives'; optimist fans most likely to see sponsorship in a positive light. 'Game experts', on the other hand, are interested in the facts and intrinsic detail of the game, yet know that sponsors are necessary and enhance the experience.

The other types are 'armchair', 'busy', 'disengaged' and 'cynic' fans.

The report says that the number of people globally watching sports at least once a month has increased from 74 million in 2013 to 113 million in 2015, and is expected to reach 145 million by 2017.

Tom Scott, global comms manager at Repucom, said: "In this case the report details how, in sports and entertainment, understanding the fan remains central to making better and more informed sponsorship decisions, which ultimately continues to drive the industry forward.

"Identifying the difference between what fans say and what fans do shows a more insightful categorisation of consumers based on behaviour, something that analysing demographics simply can't do."

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