FIFA World Cup has a grip on higher income consumers around the world – beating the Olympics
November 9th, 2022, Rishad Dsouza

FIFA World Cup has a grip on higher income consumers around the world – beating the Olympics

As the FIFA World Cup 2022 gears up for kick off in Qatar, YouGov is utilising data tools to dig up key observations about its fan base and demographics. In a previous piece, we explored the popularity of the FIFA World Cup compared to the Olympics with a special focus on certain countries and demographic groups.

In this piece, we look at whether household economic background can have a bearing on the propensity of consumers to follow the World Cup.

Firstly, it must be noted that higher income consumers (those with higher than 200% of the median income) are likelier to show an interest for almost all global events we track using Global Fan Profiles. This tendency isn’t unique to the World Cup, but to contextualise the degree of this phenomenon, we use interest in the Summer Olympics as a comparison.

Higher income consumers are almost 33% likelier than lower income ones (those with lower than 75% of median income) to show an interest in the World Cup, making it the most popular tournament among that group. By contrast, higher income consumers are only 8% likelier than the lower income group to express an interest in the Summer Olympics.

This difference in fan following for the World Cup is even more stark in some markets. For example, higher income Americans (33%) are more than twice as likely as lower income Americans (14%), and significantly more likely than middle income ones (20%) to say they are interested in the World Cup.

Australia is another market where interest in the FIFA World Cup picks up dramatically among those in the higher income group (48%) compared to those in the middle (30%) and lower income (23%) categories. But like in the US, the Olympics retains primacy across all income groups even though the relative growth in the proportion of high-income group fans for the multi-sport event is smaller.

In some of the other markets, particularly Spain and India, the share of people from each income group who are interested in the Summer Olympics and the FIFA World Cup is almost identical.

Among higher-income Brits, it is the Olympics that gains a more significant boost as they are 41% likelier than lower-income Brits to be fans of the multi-sport event. The World Cup’s popularity grows from 34% of lower-income consumers to 46% of higher-income consumers, which is a 35% difference between the two groups.

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Methodology: YouGov Global Fan Profiles, which includes data from 51 markets, is based on continuously collected data from several sources, rather than from a single limited questionnaire.