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Sydney Swans with most AFL supporters for seventh straight year

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2010 – June 2012 (n = 38,675).Note: GWS Giants included from Jan 2012.

Grand Finalists the Sydney Swans once again lead the pack with the AFL’s largest supporter base of more than 1 million Australians aged 14+ years, according to the latest data from Roy Morgan Research for the 12 months to June 2012.

The greatest increases in support in 2012 were recorded by teams showing success on the field — led by 2011 Premiership team Geelong (541,000, up 66,000). 2011’s big improvers, the West Coast Eagles increased their support to 672,000 (up 57,000) and 2012 Grand Finalists Hawthorn increased their support to 435,000 (up 54,000).


AFL Club Supporters 2011 vs 2012

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2010 — June 2012 (n = 38,675).Note: GWS Giants included from Jan 2012.


Despite the entrance of the new AFL team “Greater Western Sydney (GWS) Giants” this year support for the Sydney Swans has barely changed over the past 12 months, with 1,036,000 supporters (down 6,000). GWS Giants have attracted 106,000 supporters in their first season, slightly more than Gold Coast managed in their first season (90,000 supporters in 2011).

Looking at those teams who made it to the Preliminary Finals (Adelaide Crows, Collingwood Magpies, Hawthorn Hawks and Sydney Swans) the data shows that while Collingwood (638,000) and the Sydney Swans (630,000) have similar amounts of supporters to watch their team on TV in the last 12 months, Collingwood clearly had the most supporters to attend a match in the last 12 months (274,000) well ahead of the Sydney Swans (193,000).


AFL Match Attendance and Television Viewing, among supporters of the final four teams

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2011 — June 2012 (n = 20,416).

Looking at match attendance by State, 25% of Victorians have attended an AFL match in the last 12 months, compared to 18% of South Australians and only 5% of those who live in NSW.  So although Sydney Swans might have the highest number of supporters nominating the Swans as the AFL team they support, it could be said that Victorians and South Australians are more committed supporters given their higher incidence of match attendance and TV viewing habits.

George Pesutto, General Manager — Media & Communications, Roy Morgan Research says:

“Picking the right AFL team as a fan is easier than looking for a corporate partner. This year the Sydney Swans get both: fans can enjoy a Grand Final and corporate partners can enjoy being part of the biggest AFL supporter base seven years running.

“With Greater Western Sydney Giants already at 106,000 supporters it will be interesting to watch that supporter base grow and understand who they are in this now two team city.”