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Millennial Passion, Disengaged Boomers, and Evolving Generation Z: Next Generation Fandom Survey 23

Executive Summary

Fandom is fundamentally about passion for and engagement with cultural entities. As such, the prevalence of fandom and the popularity of specific cultural elements tell us something essential about our modern society. The Next Generation Fandom Survey deeply explores sports, entertainment, and cultural fandom across generations of Americans. The survey examines how fandom attitudes, behaviors, and motivations vary across Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers. (Other Survey Results)

Highlights from the 2023 survey include:

  • Sports fandom is lowest for Generation Z and Highest for Millennials. Baby Boomers have the highest percentage of Apathetics.

  • Generation Z has higher fandom rates for Esports (18%) and Soccer (23%) than for Baseball (16%).

  • Fandom for entertainment products remains high in Gen Z. Gen Z has the second highest fandom (trailing only Millennials) for Television, Music, and Brands).

  • Fandom for popular consumer brands (Nike, Coke, Tesla, etc.) is highest for Millennials, but Gen Z has the second highest fandom rates for these heavily marketed products.

  • The culturally disengaged generation is the Baby Boomers. Across sports, entertainment, and consumer brands, Baby Boomers are generally the least or second least engaged cohort.

  • Several results suggest that Gen Z is more interested in their teams and celebrities engaging in activism. This represents a significant challenge for sports organizations as political activity may alienate other generational segments, and there is little evidence that social justice campaigns are sufficient to drive fandom.

  • Within Gen Z, the youngest half of Gen Z has significantly less fandom for major American sports (Football, Basketball, Baseball, and Hockey) than older members of Gen Z. However, Young Gen Z’s fandom for other sports and most entertainment categories is the same or greater as Old Gen Z’s. Increased disengagement with Gen Z is limited to major (Big 3) sports.

The following report provides a series of fandom-focused analyses that investigate generational differences. Context and interpretation are provided to better understand the patterns in the data. It is a tumultuous time for sports and entertainment as technology transfers market power from traditional to social media, and demographic changes disrupt community and familial fandom traditions. The 2023 Next Generation Fandom Survey provides a snapshot in time as to how these technological and demographic forces are changing the cultural landscape and impacting fandom-oriented businesses.

The Full report is below

Download PDF • 994KB


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