Only 3 in 10 of us delighted to see elite sport continuing

In this episode of the series of studies B&A has been undertaking over the course of the pandemic we take a look live sport.

In a world where the writer expected a resounding sense of ‘delight’ that elite sporting events were gracing our screens with something new,  different and live, the reality is that only 30% of us are delighted to see our elite sport progress while the rest of the population operate under tight  Covid-19 restrictions.  Indeed, as many as a quarter of us would prefer elite sport to cease. 

While sports enthusiasts (those who in a pre-Covid existence regularly attended live sporting events), are considerably more positive with half delighted (52%) still 12% of this group are uncomfortable with the current situation.

Despite this, sports enthusiasts are definitely missing their ‘fix’.   What we find in the survey is that 43% of us (1.5m) used attend live sporting events at least occasionally pre-covid with a similar number having attended at least once in the past.  In fact, only 14% of all Irish adults have never attended a live sporting event. So yes, I think the Irish can be confirmed as sports lovers.

And with that as our backdrop, what have sports fans been missing?  Well quite a lot to be honest!  On average a sports fan will miss three of the things.  The most broadly felt ‘fix’ that is not currently being met is the excitement that surfaces when physically attending a live event.  This is followed by the atmosphere in the stadium and then there is .. (oh I have forgotten what it is called now, oh yes) the social aspect.

When we looked a little deeper into the data, what we thought was interesting is that the die-hard fans have a different sense of loss about their beloved sports. 

The key loss for them has the anticipation and the build up to the game/event itself.  No doubt this includes the camaraderie that goes with discussing team selection, form players, the injury list and more.  They are also perhaps less surprisingly much more likely to be disappointed by the fact that they cannot support their team or favourite player. 

So, the final question in our minds wasHow do people currently feel about attending live sport again?  

At this point, about half seem open to attending.  77% for enthusiasts and so this sounds promising.


About the survey: The survey was conducted by B&A using our online Acumen Panel.  The sample size is 503 with fieldwork conducted from 30th October – 1st November, 2020.  Sample was quota controlled and subsequently also weighted to match known demographics of the Irish adult population 18+.

Contact us with any queries about this survey or any of our other published reports   or 01 205 7500.