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Cowboys vs Broncos: a head-to-head comparison of the 2015 NRL Grand Final clubs’ supporters

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2014 – June 2015, n=15,867 Australians 14+ including 854 who support Brisbane Broncos and 365 who support North Queensland Cowboys.

Know thy enemy: with the North Queensland Cowboys and Brisbane Broncos preparing for 2015’s ultimate Rugby League match this Sunday, Roy Morgan Research has the lowdown on their supporters.

1,106,000 Australians 14+ support the Brisbane Broncos, almost three times as many as support the North Queensland Cowboys (389,000). But the Cowboys’ fan-base is much more gender neutral, with women making up 49% compared with just 40% of the Broncos’.

In terms of club spirit, the teams are closely matched: slightly more Cowboys supporters attended a match (22% vs 19%), but Broncos fans are more likely to be a financial member of their club (5% vs 4%) or to play the sport themselves (4% vs 3%). The two sides share virtually the same proportions of fans that watch rugby matches on TV (80-81%) or bet on the sport this past year (3%).

When deciding whose house to watch the game at, consider this: Cowboys supporters are more likely to have a swimming pool (21% vs 16%) but more Broncos fans have a barbecue (71% vs 66%).

Broncos supporters are more likely to have been overseas in the past year (24% vs 21%), donate an average $40 more per year to charity, and spend $19 more going out during the week (although Cowboys supporters spend $8 more on at-home entertainment).  

A quick guide to the supporters of 2015 NRL Grand Final Teams:

 Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2014 – June 2015, n=15,867 Australians 14+ including 854 who support Brisbane Broncos and 365 who support North Queensland Cowboys.

Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“The NRL Grand Final is an all-Queensland affair. It’s been 20 years since the Cowboys joined the NRL and 10 since they last played in a Grand Final. For the Broncos, 2015 marked the return of inaugural coach Wayne Bennett, under whom the club won six Premierships from six Grand Final appearances.

“But both teams are currently near the bottom the ladder when it comes to the proportion of supporters who are financial members of the club. Supporters of last year’s winning team the Rabbitohs or the 2013 champs the Roosters are currently around three to four times more likely to pay club dues. Of course, nothing inspires a bit of club patriotism like winning. 

Roy Morgan’s Single Source is Australia’s most extensive study of the country’s sports fans, covering everything from demographics, attitudes, activities, health, retail habits and media consumption.”

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About Roy Morgan

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

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%