Sport really is Australia’s favourite past time and with the introduction of more channels, platforms, leagues and codes, our hours spent watching sport in Australia has gone up by 8% since 2014. With more eyeballs on TVs and screens, and fan bases growing, the opportunities to reach and resonate with the captive Australian sports fan are massive.
The 2017 Sporting Landscape Report highlights key trends within the Australian sporting industry and provides simple comparisons of audience engagement across the major professional codes in Australia. Drawing upon Nielsen’s syndicated Sports and Entertainment data sources, OzTAM/Regional TAM television measurement and in addition Nielsen’s array of research products, the major components of the sports-sponsorship industry have been addressed, including viewership, fan base, media exposure, digital landscape and return on investment.
A huge eight in ten (79%) of Australians can be reached through the top five sports; AFL, cricket, tennis, rugby league and swimming. Seven in ten (69%) of Australians are interested in at least one of the four major footy codes. Indeed, the A-league soccer code has seen 10% year on year growth, more than any other football code, while almost half (48%) of Australians have interest in or have consumed AFL in the last 12 months, making it the countries most popular sport.
Media exposure is exploding, with dominant free-to-air broadcasts remaining the strongest driver of value for the large codes. NRL and AFL both generated $1 billion in Nielsen QI Media Value, and QI Media Value has increased by 6% across the four major football codes. Automotive, sporting apparel and telcos invest the most in sport sponsorships, however the mix is changing. Nielsen QI Media Value is the metric used to understand brand exposure throughout sporting broadcasts.
The culture of corporate responsibility has seen a dramatic increase in charity partners over the last four years. Similarly gambling advertising restrictions and new entrants to the Australian market see increased emphasis on below-the-line marketing for betting agencies. B2B organisations and educational institutions have also turned to sports sponsorship to influence their target market. The fast food and alcohol categories have remained relatively stagnant since 2013.
Long term, aligned partnerships are key to successfully develop engagement with the fans. Naming rights also continue to deliver strong recall amongst viewers, for example Cricket Australia, KFC and CBA, and the AFL and Toyota.
With commercial objectives at the centre of the study, Nielsen’s Sport Landscape Report will help marketers to understand how to play the game to win when it comes to the right fit, and the best ROI.