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Fandom Across the Partisan Divide

Updated: Oct 24, 2022

In 2022 politics and sports are massively intertwined. The last few years have witnessed social justice protests and a league pulling an All-Star Game based on a state’s electoral policies. The intrusion of politics into the sports realm will inevitably have consequences. Fans are people with political views; when leagues become politicized, a fan reaction is unavoidable.

The Emory Marketing Analytics Center’s Next Generation Fandom Survey investigates the state of American fandom in 2022. We view fandom from multiple perspectives, including the relationship between fandom and political ideology. The complete list of fandom reports is available at

Key findings from our analysis of the relationship between fandom and political ideology include the following:

  • Conservatives are significantly more likely to be Sports Fans and less likely to be “Sports Apathetics.”

  • Conservatives have higher rates of fandom for every sport surveyed (Football, Baseball, Basketball, Hockey, Soccer, Esports, and the Olympics).

  • However, Conservatives feel less valued by every major US professional league than Liberals or Moderates. Conservatives also rate the prestige of being a professional in every entertainment category (Acting, Musicians, Comedians, Sports, etc.) lower than Liberals or Moderates.

  • Liberals have higher rates of fandom for most entertainment categories.

  • Conservatives are more interested in most fan behaviors, such as wearing team apparel. 

  • Liberals are more highly engaged with celebrities.

The Big Story about politics and sports fandom in 2022 is that the sports industry is alienating its core segment.

The full report is linked below:

Download PDF • 1.01MB



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