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Millennials Are In The Olympic Spirit

The world is watching the Olympics, and as to be expected, so too are Millennials. In fact, Gen Y may be among some of the biggest fans!

Over the weekend we asked almost 400 14-24 year olds about their interest in the London Games and it’s clear they’re very excited. Nearly 60% expressed enthusiasm towards the Olympics with about a third saying they love it and they’ve been looking forward to it, and 26% say they really enjoy it. The Olympics are a special time when the world comes together around an activity so naturally it’s extremely popular among Millennials (who value experiences and events), especially this year since London 2012 is poised to be the most social Olympics ever! This has a downside of course as social media can reveal outcomes before viewers have watched, but overall, the Olympics are generating enormous buzz and Millennials want to be part of the conversations. From following athletes and sports to tweeting about the competitions, Millennials are engaged in the games and we expect them to actively show their support throughout the next two weeks.

We also asked Millennials what Olympic event they are looking forward to most and it’s no surprise that gymnastics (32%) and swimming (17%) came out on top. These two sports, and their athletes, have flooded the media, and Millennials know these are events they don’t want to miss. Basketball follows after as the third event they’re most excited for (9%) likely for similar reasons and interestingly enough, volleyball (5%) and archery (4%) were the next most popular events. We have to think that “The Hunger Games” and even Disney’s “Brave” have increased Gen Y’s interest in archery since young people are not only expressing eagerness to watch the sport, but they’re also taking it up themselves.

Most of all, we were excited to learn that the Olympics brings out a patriotic side for many Millennials. Nearly two-thirds say that the Olympics makes them proud to be an American with a third agreeing with this statement completely. While 3 in 10 neither agree nor disagree that the Olympics make them proud of the U.S., few disagree with this statement. Overall, there’s a sense of belonging and camaraderie during this time as Americans cheer on their athletes and feel a cultural connection in talking about the games constantly. The Olympics provide inspiration for many, something to believe in, and most of all, a bond between people of all backgrounds. And for these reasons, the Olympics are most certainly winning among Gen Y.