Home » Research Articles » Footy fever cheers on advertisers

Footy fever cheers on advertisers

On the eve of the footy finals (AFL and NRL), TANYA SHINN shows how news media advertising can shorten advertisers’ odds of engaging footy fans.

Your next read

Download the Infographic and a slide-deck of the findings available in PowerPoint or PDF format.


When it comes to sport in Australia, ‘footy’ (Australian football and rugby league) is the clear winner.

Latest data from emma shows the codes boast a combined adult fan base of 8.7 million, which means nearly half of the population supports a club.

AFL has biggest fan base with 6 million club supporters (33% of Australians 14+) while one in four (4.4m) follow Rugby League.

A great touch

Footy is a central part of Australian culture, and we have affection for companies that support sport.

According to research by Nielsen, 36 per cent of Australians feel more positive about companies that invest in Australian sport.1

Grand final time presents a great opportunity for news media advertisers to leverage brand associations with the football codes, regardless of whether the advertising is sports-related or not.

Net readers

According Nielsen’s Australia Connected Consumer Report, 58 per cent of consumers said they read sports content online; either reading stories or looking at photos.2

The high level of engagement with digital sport content provides advertisers with the opportunity to target consumers in an environment where they are just a click away from advertiser websites.

Easy conversion

News media provides the opportunity for brands to reach 8.1 million footy fans (94%) as they stake their allegiances on the eve of this year’s grand final matches.

Some 7.1 million Australians read a sports section of a newspaper every week – with a gender split 57:43 in favour of men.

Supporters look to newspaper sports sections to keep them informed and they are a fantastic place for brands to gain further traction through sponsorship deals.

Opportunist goal

For many, grand final time also means it’s time for a flutter.

In the last month, 647,000 Australians aged 18+ (3.6%) placed at least one bet via the internet, 14 per cent more than those who placed a bet at a TAB agency in the same period (567,000).

The popularity of online gambling platforms is a mirror image of the engagement with digital sports content, which has seen the online medium become a key part of the modern sporting experience.

Men make up 79 per cent of those who gamble online, but the number of women is on the rise.

In the two years to June 2016, the female online betting participation has grown by 15 per cent, according to emma data. This increase is strongest among those aged 18 to 29, a demographic in which the growth is 60 per cent.

A safe bet

The hype around grand final time is the perfect opportunity for advertisers to engage non- frequent gamblers.

Research from emma tells us women are 57 per cent more likely to place a bet on the spur of the moment than the average punter. They are also 28 per cent less likely to be loyal to an online betting service than men.

Those who placed a TAB or online bet in the last four weeks are 70 per cent more likely to read sports sections than the average consumer, and 114 per cent more likely than those who do not engage with sports content.

Digital news sites top destination for advertisers looking to attract punters.

According to figures from emma, three out of four people who made an online wager in the last month read digital news media.


emma™ conducted by Ipsos MediaCT, People 14+ for the 12 months ending June 2016; Nielsen DRM June 2016, People 14+ only.

  1. Rules For Engaging With The Australian Sport Fan –Nielsen Insights, http://www.nielsen.com/au/en/insights/news/2015/rules-for-engaging-the-sport-fan.html
  2.  Australian Connected Consumer Report 2015, Nielsen Insights,  http://www.shopnielsen.com/reports/online/australian-connected-consumers-report-2016


[device] [/device]
[notdevice] [/notdevice]

Related downloads

Reader Interactions