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‘Tigers of (not so) old’ vs. ‘pride of South Australia’ for AFL Flag

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2016-June 2017, n=965. Base: Australians 14+ who support Adelaide Crows or Richmond Tigers.
Saturday’s AFL Grand Final pits the two AFL teams with the longest AFL Grand Final droughts against each other in a match-up set to break one long-suffering team’s drought – and to prolong another.

So just who are the supporters of the ‘pride of South Australia’ – the Adelaide Crows in their first Grand Final since 1998, and the ‘Tigers of old’ – Richmond, a club clearly hoping to emulate last year’s Western Bulldogs fairy-tale in their first ever AFL Grand Final.

The Crows have the edge in total supporter base with 541,000 fans enough to place the club fifth for total AFL supporters in 2017. The Crows support is heavily concentrated in their home State of South Australia (76.5% of Adelaide supporters).

Their opponents the Tigers are no slouches with 442,000 supporters around Australia, but have one of the AFL’s best conversion rates of supporters to members – ranking fourth and converting 16.4% of supporters to members in 2017.

Of the two clubs, Richmond are clearly adept at attracting younger supporters with 18.2% of Richmond supporters under 25 compared to only 12.5% of Adelaide supporters – an impressive statistic considering the unsuccessful Richmond teams of recent decades.

Crows supporters vs Tigers supporters: vital stats

AFL Grand Final 2017: Adelaide v Richmond

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2016-June 2017, n=965. Base: Australians 14+ who support Adelaide Crows or Richmond Tigers.

The age profile of the respective supporter bases underlies why more Adelaide supporters (63.5%) watch the AFL on TV than Richmond supporters (59.8%), and also, conversely, why more Tigers supporters (11.0%) actually play Australian Football compared to only 6.4% of Adelaide supporters.

The Roy Morgan figures bear out the old axiom that Adelaide is the ‘City of Churches’: a clear majority of Adelaide supporters (62.4%) consider themselves religious compared to only 49.6% of Richmond supporters.

Gary Morgan, Executive Chairman, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Saturday’s AFL Grand Final is a battle of the ‘droughts’. Richmond haven’t been in a Grand Final for 35 years – since 1982 when the competition was known as the VFL, and haven’t won a Premiership since 1980 whilst Adelaide are looking for their first Premiership since going back-to-back in 1998.

“The bookmakers have installed ladder-leading Adelaide as the favourites to lift the cup on Saturday, but Richmond supporters will tell you ‘It’s Tiger time’ after their impressive demolition of the AFL’s newest team Greater Western Sydney in last week’s Preliminary Final.

“In Adelaide’s favour is the club’s perfect record in Grand Finals – winning two out of two, whilst Richmond are a true Cinderella story having won only two finals in the past 16 years – both over the past few weeks.

“It’s anyone’s guess who will triumph but as a proud Victorian on Saturday I’ll be cheering for the Tigers to Grand Final glory – our family affiliation with Richmond goes back to the 1850s when my great grandfather lived in Richmond and in 1857 published one of Melbourne’s first suburban newspaper The Collingwood and Richmond Observer.”

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