The AFL Finals are upon us with Premiership favourites Richmond dispatching fourth-placed Hawthorn on Thursday night to start the AFL’s four week finals series and it’s not only on the field that the defending Premiers are leading the pack.
Richmond has set a new benchmark this year with over 100,000 signed-up members, and this figure looks set to grow in future years when one considers of the four key finals contenders compared today that Richmond has the highest proportion of supporters in the key Under 25 demographic at 20% ahead of Collingwood on 17%, West Coast Eagles on 16% and the Sydney Swans on only 10%.
In contrast to the ‘Yellow & Black’ at least a fifth of the supporters of the Eagles (23%), Swans (21%) and Pies (20%) are aged 65 years old or over compared to only 14% of Tigers supporters. This skew to a younger support base explains why the average age of a Richmond supporter is 44 years old compared to 48-49 years old for Pies, Swans and Eagles supporters.
AFL Supporter Comparison between Collingwood, Richmond, Sydney & West Coast – June 2018
(Data on other clubs is available from Roy Morgan)
|Number of supporters||660,000||487,000||1,174,000||547,000|
|Gender Split Men cf. Women||50% cf. 50%||52% cf. 48%||60% cf. 40%||54% cf. 46%|
|Aged Under 25||17%||20%||10%||16%|
|Average Age||48 years||44 years||49 years||48 years|
|Average household income||$91,000||$98,000||$125,000||$104,000|
|Average amount given to charity||$367||$264||$531||$253|
|Holidayed overseas in last year||24%||27%||32%||26%|
|% who go to AFL matches||26%||35%||22%||22%|
|% who watch AFL on TV||75%||68%||71%||81%|
|% who play Australian Rules||8%||8%||2%||4%|
|% Bet on AFL in last year||6%||5%||3%||4%|
Source: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia July 2017 – June 2018. n=14,836. Base: Australians aged 14+
Although the Tigers are well placed, other clubs supporters also score ‘wins’ on other measures. Collingwood has the most gender-balanced supporter base of the four highlighted clubs with a 50:50 split between men and women – perhaps helped by the fact Collingwood is the only club of the four to have fielded a team in the AFL Women’s competition in recent years.
The Sydney Swans have more supporters than any other club – a topic we covered in detail here – and their supporters are the most charitable giving an average of $531 per year to charities far more than the supporters of the other three clubs. Swans supporters are also the most likely to have holidayed overseas in the last year at an impressive 32% compared to around a quarter for the other clubs.
West Coast are currently the team favoured to take on Richmond in this year’s Grand Final and analysis shows that Eagles supporters are also the most dedicated TV watchers of AFL of the four highlighted here. Over four-fifths of Eagles supporters (81%) watch AFL on TV compared to 75% of Collingwood supporters, 71% of Sydney supporters and 68% of Richmond supporters. Richmond supporters do have a fair excuse – they’re the most likely (35%) to actually go to AFL matches in person.
AFL club supporters ‘would like to lose weight’ but they aren’t ‘intellectual’
Roy Morgan not only analyses the demographic profiles of supporters of Australia’s 18 AFL clubs but also delves into how supporters of different clubs, or supporters in general, feel about important issues and topics that impact on all of us.
There are certain characteristics that supporters of AFL clubs share no matter which club they support at a greater rate than the population at large, while other characteristics are more specific to supporters of particular clubs.
Supporters of all four clubs highlighted today are more likely than the general population to agree with the following statements:
- ‘I would like to be able to lose weight’
- ‘If we don’t act now we’ll never control our environmental problems’
- ‘I record TV programs if I can’t watch them’
- ‘I listen to the radio in the car’
- ‘Magazines are a good way to unwind and relax’
- ‘I trust well-known brands better than the stores’ own’
In contrast there are many statements that supporters of the four highlighted AFL clubs are less likely to agree with than the general population including the following statements:
- ‘I favour natural medicines and health products’
- ‘I wear clothes that will get me noticed’
- ‘I’m a bit of an intellectual’
- ‘I regularly go to church or my place of worship’
- ‘People often compliment me on my cooking’
- ‘The food I eat is all, or almost all, vegetarian’
Of course as we are looking today at four of this year’s leading Premiership contenders we also need to understand what statements these supporters identify with at a greater level than their rivals:
Collingwood supporters agree highly with the following statements:
- ‘I was born to shop’
- ‘My pet is a fussy eater’
- ‘I feel less safe than I used to’
- ‘I enjoy buying magazines’
- ‘I drink less beer than I used to’
Richmond supporters agree highly with the following statements:
- ‘It is important to have a full social life’
- ‘I feel comfortable giving my full details over the Internet’
- ‘I often read Internet pop-up ads’
- ‘I always read the business section of the newspaper’
- ‘I drink more premium beer now than I used to’
Sydney Swans supporters agree highly with the following statements:
- ‘I love to do as many sports as possible’
- ‘I’m concerned about my cholesterol level’
- ‘TV advertising often gives me something to talk about’
- ‘I like to drink wine with my meals’
- ‘Imported beer is a waste of money’
West Coast Eagles supporters agree highly with the following statements:
- ‘The Government is doing a good job running the country’
- ‘I often enter competitions run by newspapers, magazines or radio stations’
- ‘I don’t have time to spend cooking’
- ‘Beer is often a good way to start the night’
- ‘I sometimes buy drinks that boost my energy’
Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan, says the AFL Finals series brings the eight best AFL teams together for four weeks of intense finals footy – but what sets apart the leading contenders for this year’s Flag off the field?
“Defending Premiers Richmond have started the finals series in top form defeating fourth placed Hawthorn by 31pts in front of over 90,000 fans last night and it’s not only on the field that Richmond’s fortunes are looking bright.
“Richmond signed up over 100,000 members this year – the first time any AFL club has signed up that many supporters in a single year – and analysis of Roy Morgan’s detailed AFL club supporter data reveals the Tigers are performing well attracting the next generation of fans. A fifth (20%) of Richmond’s supporters are now aged under 25 – a higher proportion than rivals such as Sydney, Collingwood and West Coast.
“Richmond supporters are also more passionate than most with 35% going to an AFL match in the last year – a higher rate than for supporters of Collingwood, Sydney or West Coast.
“However, it isn’t all about the Tigers – there are more Swans supporters (over 1.1 million) than any other club and the average household income for Swans supporters of $125,000 is clearly higher than for Richmond supporters ($91,000), Collingwood supporters ($98,000) or West Coast Eagles supporters ($104,000). Swans supporters also take overseas holidays at a greater rate than supporters of Richmond, Collingwood or West Coast.
“Collingwood has also ‘stolen a march’ on its key rivals with an even split between women (50% of Collingwood supporters) and men (50% of Collingwood supporters). This success is likely built off the fact Collingwood is the only club of the four to have a team in AFL Women’s and on top of that Collingwood also has a professional Netball club in the Suncorp Super Netball competition.
“In a highly competitive environment the West Coast Eagles have this year moved into the brand new Optus Stadium which has boosted their average home crowds by over 16,000 spectators to over 53,000 and as well as attracting a record 586,000 supporters to their 11 home games in 2018 West Coast supporters are also more committed than their rivals’ supporters to watching AFL on TV.
“Club CEOs need Roy Morgan data to better understand their supporters so they can attract the right sponsors. Advertisers and broadcasters need to use Roy Morgan data to gain a qualitative and quantitative understanding of what drives the 7.6 million Australians who follow an AFL club and how to ‘tap into’ Australia’s most important sporting market.”
For comments or more information please contact:
Roy Morgan - Enquiries
Office: +61 (03) 9224 5309
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|
|40% – 60%||25% or 75%||10% or 90%||5% or 95%|