2021 wishlist: What sports would consumers most like to see in-person?

January 11, 2021, 6:59 PM GMT+0

If money or geography were not an issue, many consumers would consider attending the Olympics live in-person.

By looking at Consideration scores, continuously collected YouGov SportsIndex data shows which events or leagues a COVID-weary public would most like to see in six key markets as we turn the page on 2020. These scores are based on results from the question: “If there were no obstruction with price or geography, which of the following sporting events/leagues would you consider most going to?”

In most regions, the Olympics Games - both summer and winter - are highly ranked. The Summer Games tops our wishlist in the United Kingdom (where 31.5% say they would consider attending), France (27.8%), and Japan (20.7%). The Summer Games also rank high in Germany (16.2%) and the United States (24.4%).

These consideration scores across multiple markets are a key indicator as Japan, set to host the Games in July 2021, makes every effort to ensure the competition goes ahead as planned while navigating the perils of crowds during COVID-19.

Notably, the Games don’t crack the top five events in India. Instead, consumers are more interested in other quadrennial properties including the ICC Cricket World Cup (43.9%), the FIFA World Cup (31.4%), and the Asian Games (16.4%). The Indian Premier League is also high on the sports wishlist in India (40.8%), as is the Pro Kabaddi League (40.8%), which has exploded in popularity in the last few years.

A look at the markets shows that besides the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup, there is not a fervent desire to travel outside the country for sporting events.

In the UK, behind the Summer Olympics, Brits would most want to see the Wimbledon Championship in tennis (27.3%), the Six Nations Rugby Championship (22.7%), the Olympic Winter Games (21.9%) and the FIFA World Cup (20.6%).

In France, apart from the Summer Olympics, consumers would most like to go to the French Open (23.6%), the Winter Games (22.6%), the FIFA World Cup (19.6%) and the Tour de France (17.8%).

Japanese adults would most consider attending a Nippon Professional Baseball game (18.9%), the Winter Games (11.6%), the FIFA World Cup (11%) and a Japan Professional Football League game (9.1%).

In Germany, Bundesliga reigns supreme, with 23.3% indicating they would consider going regardless of money or travel time. Other sporting events on Germany’s wishlist include the Summer Olympic Games (16.2%), the UEFA Champions League (14.2%), Formula 1 (13.3%) and football’s annual DFB-Pokal competition (13.1%).

Finally, attending an NFL game tops the United States’ wishlist (24.6%). Other events most considered in the US are the Olympic Winter Games (23.7%), Major League Baseball (23.1%) and NCAA Division 1 College Football (14.7%).

Methodology: Consideration scores are based on the questionIf there were no obstruction with price or geography, which of the following sporting events/leagues would you consider most going to?” Figures were based on average of daily results between December 15, 2019 and December 15, 2020. Overall sample sizes were 1,232-10,289 in Germany, 3,534-5,434 in France, 4,302-10,229 in India, 5,671-5,862 in Japan, 2,596-17,496 in the United Kingdom, and 4523-18,252 in the United States depending on sport/event.