The sports-gaming connect among gamers in the US
June 9th, 2022, Rishad Dsouza

The sports-gaming connect among gamers in the US

YouGov Profiles data tells us that gamers are more likely than members of the overall US population to express an interest in following sports. Five in nine gamers in the US say they are somewhat interested in watching or following sports or that it is one of their top interests (54%). By comparison, just over a third of Americans that do not play video games express an interest in sports (36%).

It could be useful for marketers to know what sports the gaming community follows and whether the category of games they play can influence the sports they watch or follow.

Other than football and baseball, American gamers are noticeably likelier to follow all other sports compared to their non-gaming compatriots. Football claims the top spot and is followed by just a under a third of consumers in both groups (31%). A fifth of consumers in both groups (21%) also say they watch or follow baseball on a regular basis.

Basketball is the choice of a similar proportion of gamers (21%), but its popularity drops noticeably among Americans that don’t play video games (17%).

This difference is particularly pronounced when it comes to soccer, which is the fourth-most popular sport among gamers (13%) but appears far lower down the list among non-gamers (5%).

Gamers are also markedly likelier to follow ice hockey (12% vs 9%), boxing (11% vs 7%), tennis (9% vs 6%) and MMA (9% vs 4%).

Drilling deeper there emerges a strong correlation between the franchises of video games a gamer plays and the sports they enjoy. Three in five of gamers (58%) who play MLB The Show are baseball fans, making it the most popular sport in that audience category.

Similarly, Current Customers of Madden NFL prefer football the most (67%), while soccer – alongside football – claims the joint top-spot among FIFA players (47%). Basketball is the most popular title among NBA 2K players (62%), while those who play the NHL video game over-index as fans of ice hockey.

While these correlations may not be surprising, the extent to which the overlap exists may be of interest to marketers of both sports as well as video games.

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Methodology: YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data is nationally representative and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles.