Stereotypically, women aren’t huge sports fans. When you think of a packed stadium, you might think of a raucous crowd made up of bands of grown men celebrating with foam fingers, face paint, and giant beers. But it turns out that an increasing number of female sports fan are slathering on the face paint as well.
Save a Seat for Women at Any NFL Game
In all, one-third of avid NFL fans are women. You heard that right. Thirty three percent of people who say they are very interested in football are women. The teams with the most fans overall include Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers, New Orleans Saints, and Minnesota Vikings.
It’s Not Only the Olympians that Are Female
In the 2012 London Olympics there were more female athletes than male athletes. On top of this, 29 of the 46 gold medals earned in the 2012 London Olympics went to women athletes. It was a big year for women, both as competitors and as fans.
According to a recent study, the Olympics are the third most popular series of sporting events among women. The number of women interested in the sport is fairly consistent across the country, but that same study found that the largest percentage of female Olympic fans lived in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Des Moines, Iowa.
Why Do Women Enjoy Sports More than They Did Before?
There are several theories that explain why women enjoy sports at a growing pace.
For starters, it’s the 40th anniversary of Title IX, the law that gave more girls and women an equal opportunity to play sports in school, which they did. Forty years of increased participation will, of course, result in increased fandom.
Another possible reason is the fact that sports in general and football specifically has become more popular overall. According to a recent New York Times article, Sunday Night Football is the most popular program among men.
With more men watching the show it only makes sense that more women living in the same household would watch the show as a result. Once a person watches any program it’s likely that they will get drawn in. The viewer begins to follow the personal stories of the players, the drama among teams, and let’s not forget the personal investment in fantasy leagues and workplace betting pools.
There’s no doubt that men are still the dominate set of sports fans, but women cannot be overlooked as sports fans.
This is a guest post by Allison Murray on behalf of market research company, Scarborough Research. Scarborough measures the lifestyles, shopping patterns, television statistics, media behaviors, and national demographics of Americans.