Data Journalist

Isolating the fan base of each event reveals demographic and consumer differences

Shared fans

A majority of Americans enjoy the Olympics, with six in ten (60%) saying they like the Winter Olympics and nearly the same amount saying they like the Summer Olympics (58%). It’s no surprise then that each event has shared fans and of similar proportions. Close to nine in ten fans of the Summer Olympics (87%) have a favorable opinion of the Winter Olympics and vice versa – 85% of Winter Olympics fans say they like the Summer Games.

Favorite Olympics events

Two years ago, fans of Summer Olympics said their favorite events in Rio de Janeiro were swimming (19%), artistic gymnastics (7%), and beach volleyball (7%). Keeping in mind that both Olympic events share a large portion of fans, those who like the Winter Olympics say their favorite events at the Rio Summer Games were swimming (19%), fencing (9%), and artistic gymnastics (9%). Winter Games fans were significantly more likely to say their favorite event was fencing compared to their Summer Games counterparts (4%).

This year, fans of the Winter Olympics say their favorite events in PyeongChang are figure skating (23%), ice hockey (10%), and snowboarding (7%). Olympic Winter Games fans are significantly more likely to say they like ice hockey than fans of the Summer Olympics (4%). Fans of the Summer Olympics say their favorite events in the Winter Games are figure skating (28%), bobsled (7%), and ski jumping (5%). Nearly one in five Summer Games fans (18%) say they don’t have a favorite Winter Games event this year.
 

Demographics

YouGov Profiles reveals that the Summer Olympics is more appealing to minorities. Fans of the Summer Games, while predominantly white (70%), are also comprised of blacks (14%) and Hispanics (9%). Fans of the Winter Games, of which eight in ten are white (81%), are significantly are less likely to be minorities.



By region, Americans living in the West (70%) and Midwest (71%) are more likely to be fans of the Winter Olympics than those who live in the South (50%) or Northeast (55%). The Summer Olympics appear to be uniformly favored by all four regions.


 

Figure skating is a favorite even among those who play other sports

Figure skating is the most popular event at this year’s Winter Games and fares well with athletes of other sports. A look at those who figure skate or ice skate to stay fit reveals that 27% of them say figure skating is their favorite 2018 PyeongChang event. Even among those who play ice hockey (17%) or go snowboarding (21%), activities representative of the second and third most popular Winter events, many say that figure skating is their favorite event to watch over the sports they actually play.
 

Consumer decisions

YouGov Profiles allows for in-depth, granular looks at how the two fanbases of the different Olympic events spend their money. For example, when it comes to the devices and brands that they might be using to watch, stream, or listen to the Olympic events, fans of the Winter Olympics and those of the Summer Olympics tend to differ. Summer Games fans are more likely to be current customers of audio and visual products like the Amazon Fire Stick (25% compared to 7% of Summer Games fans) and Beats by Dr. Dre (7% compared to 1%) while those who like the Winter Olympics are likelier to own devices from Samsung (44% compared to 33% of Summer Games fans), Bose (29% compared to 19%), and Vizio (26% compared to 18%).

These two fan bases tend to frequent different websites as well. Summer Olympics fans are more likely frequent LinkedIn’s (16% compared to 7% of Winter Games fans) and Yelp’s (14% compared to 8%) websites. Winter Olympics fans (51%) are more likely than Summer Olympics fans (36%) to visit Wikipedia.

YouGov data even links the two fan bases to other consumer habits like the different insurance companies they have. Whereas fans of the Summer Olympics are more likely to be insured by UnitedHealthcare (16% compared to 7% of Winter Games fans) and AARP (6% compared to 1%) fans of the Winter Olympics trust their insurance needs to AAA (16% compared to 9% of Summer Olympics fans) and Anthem Blue Cross (6% compared to 2%).

Read more results from this poll here

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Photo: Getty

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