The Olympic Games have a popularity problem with the young audience

in Fun research
on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @ 11:11

Winter Olympics has a problem with the younger audience. Last Friday, while the Sochi Winter Olympics opening ceremony was taking place, we asked over 1000 smartphone users in the UK, and 47% of the 18-24 year olds said they didn't plan to follow the world's largest winter sports event at all.

The good news is that across all age groups 65% said they planned to follow the games; almost half of them planning to watch the games daily.

Snowboarding and ski jumping the most popular

The popularity of snowboarding was fairly easy to predict - after all, Team GB has 7 snowboarders in its ranks. One of them, Jenny Jones, is so far the only British medalists, winning bronze in women's slopestyle.

Snowboard is the most popular sport among Brits

However, ski jumping which very narrowly missed grabbing the top spot in terms of popularity was a complete surprise as Team GB has no ski jumpers in the lineup.

Gender plays a big role in event preferences. Snowboarding was chosen by 50% of the men but only 34% of the women. The split in opinion was even more marked in figure skating which was the 3rd most popular - 56% of the women vs a mere 11% of the men.

Advertising dollars paying off for Nike

Brands spend tens of millions of dollars to be associated with the Olympic games and we wanted to know if it’s paying off. To make things more interesting we added a few 'red herrings' - brands which are not official game sponsors. A few of them were local partners for Team GB, but others have no connection to the games at all.

The results are a bit of a mixed bag. Adidas, the domestic sponsor for Team GB, gets the most mentions, Coca Cola and Visa, rightfully sailing in 2nd and 3rd.

Another Team GB sponsor, DHL, didn't command similar levels of brand recognition, with only 7% of respondents associating the transport giant with the Winter Olympics.

Nike, the 4th most mentioned brand, isn’t a games sponsor but seems to equate with “sports” to almost a third of the respondents. It’s a similar story for Barclay’s, who are long time sponsors of the Premier League which must be paying dividends.

TV still rules

Overwhelming majority of 90% said they’ll watch the games in Sochi on their TV.

Distant second was following the games on their mobile or tablet, which beat out PCs by a small margin. The plethora of Winter Olympic mobile apps didn’t look to be very popular, only 7% said they’ll be downloading and using those.

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