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Sea Eagles and Roosters supporters flying high before NRL Grand Final

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2012 – June 2013 (n = 530).
If last weekend’s AFL Grand Final was a meeting between East and West, then this Sunday’s NRL Final could, at a stretch, be considered a North–South showdown. In what will surely be an unforgettable match, the northern beaches’ Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles go up against inner-city (and south-of-the-Bridge) favourites, the Sydney Roosters. Admittedly, here at Roy Morgan, we’re not too fussed about which team wins. We’re more interested in their supporters …

Numbering around 305,000 people, Manly’s supporter-base is significantly larger than Sydney’s (256,000). Both have shrunk in recent years, however, with Manly dropping more than 30,000 fans since 2009 and Sydney losing about 6,000.

Both teams’ supporters are predominantly male: 66% of Manly supporters and 65% of Sydney supporters are men. While both groups of fans are more likely than the average Australian to earn $100k+ per year and slightly more likely to own their own home, 69% of Manly fans and 68% of Sydney fans report cutting down on their spending in recent times.

But for all their shared traits, Roosters and Sea Eagles supporters are far from identical. The table below reveals some key differences between these two NRL tribes…

Sydney vs Manly-Warringah: attitudes and activities


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2012 – June 2013 (n = 530).

Geoffrey Smith, General Manager – Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Like the supporters of last week’s AFL Grand Finalists, fans of the teams in the NRL Grand Final appear very similar at first glance. For example, both groups are less likely than the average Australian to have a degree/diploma, more likely to have attended a professional sporting event in the last three months (and played sport themselves), and more likely to prefer beer over wine.

“However, by delving into the Roy Morgan Single Source database, we’ve found Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles supporters to be a little more ‘sensible’: avoiding risk, giving to charity and more inclined to eat multicultural cuisine than fast-food. In contrast, Sydney Roosters fans tend to be more carefree with their love of sexy cars, trashy takeaway and risky behaviour.

“No matter which team wins on Sunday, we foresee that betting agencies will do a roaring trade – both groups of supporters have been known to enjoy a flutter!”

Click here to view our extensive range of NRL Supporter profiles, including Sydney Roosters supporters, Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles supporters and more.  These profiles provide a broad understanding of the target audience, in terms of demographics, attitudes, activities and media usage in Australia.

For comments or more information please contact:

Geoffrey Smith

General Manager – Consumer Products

Office: +61 (2) 9261 8233

Mobile: +61 413 844 732

About Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices in each state of Australia, as well as in New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan Research has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

In Australia, Roy Morgan Research is considered to be the authoritative source of information on financial behaviour, readership, voting intentions and consumer confidence. Roy Morgan Research is a specialist in recontact customised surveys which provide invaluable and effective qualitative and quantitative information regarding customers and target markets.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%