But this isn’t just about television ratings, it’s about interest at large.
The NFL is king in the US
UN 2021 Ipsos poll asked American adults whether they were fans of a sport or not
. A majority
(51%) said they were fans of professional football
No other sport (pro baseball, pro basketball, pro hockey, pro soccer, college basketball or college football) even cracked the 40% mark. Infatti, only pro baseball and college football even broke above 30%.
While different pollsters have found differing levels of support for professional football — depending upon question wording among other factors — it’s the top sport in any poll.
inoltre, there’s no sign that pro football’s popularity has waned when examining Ipsos polling.
, the same
51% of American adults said they were a fan of pro football
When you dig in deeper, you can see why the NFL does so well: it’s popular across the political spectrum. Tra i Democratici, 51% said they were fans of the NFL. Tra i repubblicani, era 50%. A majority (55%) of independents indicated that they were fans of the NFL.
You can see the same thing when you look at Google searches
. The NFL is not only the numero uno most searched league in America
, but there is not a statistically significant relationship with the level of search interest by state and how that state voted in the 2020 elezione
In altre parole, the states Democrat Joe Biden won search as much about the NFL as the states Republican Donald Trump won
. That’s not the case for any other major sports league in America
This may be surprising given what has occurred over the last five years between Trump and the NFL.
Trump blasted the NFL nel 2017 following players kneeling during the national anthem
. Nel 2020
, Trump and his allies again went after the league after more players knelt in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder
NFL leadership backed the protests in 2020, while they did not in 2017. Forse, they realized Trump wasn’t ultimately making much of an impact.
Infatti, just like now, almeno 50% of Democrats and Republicans were fans of the NFL in the 2007 Ipsos poll.
Racial divide in NFL fandom?
It also doesn’t appear that there is more of a racial divide among NFL fans than there was prior to 2017.
In the Ipsos poll, 51% of White adults said they were NFL fans, which is the same as overall figure. Black adults were somewhat more likely to be NFL fans at 62%, though in the grand scheme that is a far smaller racial divide than we see on many issues in America. Per esempio, Black adults were about 40 points more likely to say they were NBA fans than White adults.
When Ipsos asked about professional football fandom in 2007, 54% of White adults said they were fans of the NFL. This is well within the margin of the error of what the 2021 Ipsos polling found.
If there is one warning sign for the NFL
, it’s how young people feel about the league
. Fears over concussions may be playing a role in the fact that about
100,000 fewer high school boys played football at the end of the 2010s than at the beginning of the decade
Football does remain a top sport for high schoolers
, secondo National Federation of State High School Associations data
, but its advantage over other sports is shrinking
, which is the world’s favorite sport
. Even with studies showing that people should fear concussions in soccer
, the sport has been gaining ground on football
Ragazzi’ high school soccer saw a nearly 70,000-person participation increase over the course of the 2010s. Ragazze’ soccer had a 40,000-person increase in participants over that span.
This still left football with slightly over one million high school participants compared to about 459,000 boys and 394,000 girls (for a total of about 850,000) playing soccer. This meant the gap between soccer and football players in high school dropped from about 360,000 to about 155,000 over the course of the decade.
There are some signs this is leaking into the fandom of professional sports.
A majority of adults under the age of 30 (56%) in the Ipsos poll said they were not fans of the NFL. This was 15 points larger than those 70 and older of whom just 41% said they weren’t a fan.
, on other hand
, saw the percentage of fans rise by double-digits over the 2010s in Gallup polling
Detto ciò, we shouldn’t oversell football’s problems. It remains the most popular American sport by a large margin. And while a sport like soccer may be picking up some ground, American adults are about 30 points more likely to be fans of football than soccer across polling.
Football — and the NFL — does not seem to be in danger of being overtaken by another sport popularity wise any time soon.