Millennials’ & Gen Z’s Favorite Sport To Watch Shows A Generation Gap

What sports do Millennials and Gen Z most like watching on screen? We found out—and their answers show new sports generation gap…

In Ypulse’s recent survey on sports and athletics—measuring participation, viewership, and fandom among Millennials and Gen Z—we found that about three in ten 13-34-year-olds report watching broadcast sporting events on-screen weekly, and one in five report watching monthly.

Of course, for this group, we did have to specify that “on-screen” can mean “any type of screen: TV, laptop, tablet, smartphone, etc.” While watching “live on TV” is still the most popular way to consume sports on screen, streaming and social media are undoubtedly forces to watch. As we outlined last week, multiple leagues are making major changes to try to keep up with the next generation of sports viewers—and to reach them on multiple screens. The MLB is dabbling in live streaming games on Facebook, which also recently scored a deal to live stream Champion League Soccer. The NFL is looking outside their traditional playbook to reach young fans with a partnership with AwesomenessTV to create a digital series that “lifts the curtain” to give a behind-the-scenes look at the sport—and is part of a major deal to bring short shows to Snapchat as well. Young consumers’ attention is fragmented across platforms, but also across new entertainment, including e-sports, which almost two in five male 13-34-year-olds say they are avid followers of.

In that same survey, we asked what sports they’ve watched in the last year, what leagues they follow, and what sporting events they’ve watched in the last year—but to find out what sports they’re actually most enjoying as fans, we also asked, “Please tell us the sport that you most like to watch on-screen?”* We ranked their open-end answers, and found…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“I observe holidays and religion-based traditions but am more connected to it as a culture than as a religion.”—Female, 27, MA

Chinese youth have a “selfie obsession” that’s changing beauty standards and creating a new tier of celebrity. The Influencer Effect is full blown in China, where young consumers are beautifying their selfies via filter apps like Meitu and plastic surgery—all in the quest to look more like wang hong, their internet celebrities. One influencer, HoneyCC, argues that “Selfies are part of Chinese culture now, and so is Meitu-editing selfies.” But some say the trend is pushing the population to become more homogenous by favoring certain features, and headlines have lashed back against the whitening of skin prevalent in social apps. (The New Yorker)

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Some cities are past their “peak Millennial” populations, as the generation increasingly finds new digs in the suburbs. Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles all reached their highest Millennial population in 2015, and New York and Washington D.C. are showing slowing Millennial growth, according to U.S. Census data. Meanwhile Chicago’s suburbs and others have seen an uptick in their young adult populations—another Millennial myth debunked. Which urban centers are still attracting the demo as they age up? “Tech hubs” like Seattle and San Francisco. (Time)

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