NEW GEN Z 101: Unlock & Outlast Microtrends

Traditional sports need an experiential upgrade if they want to reach young fans.

Dec 07 2021

Traditional sports need an experiential upgrade if they want to reach young fans. According to Dustin York, a professor at Maryville University, interactivity in sports is one of the biggest issues when it comes to engaging with Gen Z, and this generation is instead looking to esports and going to platforms like Twitch to discover more interactive sports content. Unlike traditional sports viewing, streaming and esports allow young consumers to directly interact with other viewers—and our research shows 32% of 13-39-year-olds would rather watch an esports competition than a traditional sports game. They’re also going to social media for sports highlights and video content, while following their favorite athletes on social media to engage with them beyond game time. York notes that spotlighting individual stars rather than just the organization is one way sports leagues can better engage with young people while creating fan-led events / content to put them at the center of what’s happening on and off the field. YPulse’s Scouting Next Gen Sports Fans trend research found that Gen Z is less engaged with traditional sports leagues compared to Millennials, and experience is key for reaching the next gen. (Deadspin)