Sydney FC most supported A-League mens club, with soccer a large untapped viewership market

Following on from league reports on the AFL and NRL, new research from Roy Morgan has found Sydney FC is the A-League Men’s most supported club, with a total of 640,000 supporters, and an increase of 32.2% from a year ago.

The league’s most successful club, winning three of the last five championships, is followed closely by ‘Big Blue’ rivals Melbourne Victory, with 632,000 supporters. The Victory are the league’s second most successful team, having won four championships in total, most recently in 2017-18.

Support for clubs is up over the past year league-wide, with newcomers Macarthur FC attracting 84,000 fans just one year in the league, more than doubling Western United, Victoria’s latest top tier club in its second year in the competition.

Over 3.6 million Australians are now reported to support an A-League Men’s club, a rise of over one million over the past year. Compared to other domestic league codes, there are 6.3 million NRL fans and 8.7 million AFL fans.

In total 1.5 million Australians watch the A-League Men on TV, with 3.5 million having watched “any soccer match on TV”, as Roy Morgan states this offers an untapped market of two million Australians available for the A-Leagues, in those that only tune in to international leagues or tournaments.

Central Coast Mariners saw the biggest increase over the past year, with a 90.1% rise in supporters from 81,000 to 154,000. Current champions, Melbourne City also experienced a large increase in fans following the club’s first title, increasing from 165,000 to 249,000.

2020/21 A-League Premiers Melbourne City

“As we have seen across other football codes the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many sports to be played in front of empty stadiums but live on TV to supporters stuck at home in the many lockdowns we have seen over the last 18 months around Australia,” said Roy Morgan Industry communications director Julian McCrann.

“Looking ahead, the challenge for the A-League will be to continue to grow the league in an increasingly competitive sporting market and find a way to connect with the millions of Australians who love their football but don’t presently engage with the A-League. There are over 2 million Australians out there who watch high quality football competitions, such as the English Premier League, who are yet to become fans of the A-League. This at-hand market of 2 million Australians is a significant market for the A-League to target during the recovery from Covid-19.”

Viewing figures for A-League Men on TV is highest within the Gen X population (8.1%), ahead of Pre-Boomers (7.8%), Baby Boomers (7.4%) and Millenials (7.1%). Millenials lead the way in attendance with 4.5%.

The Australian Professional Leagues (APL) rebranding to the A-Leagues last month, bringing both men and women’s professional competitions under the same banner, as well as youth leagues.


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