Research: Snapchat study finds two thirds of 18 to 24 year olds are developing an interest in sport inspired by fashion and online communities

A new study from Snapchat has found that young people feel disenfranchised from sport, but fashion and online communities are giving them a route back in

Young people feel disenfranchised from sport, but fashion and online communities are giving them a route back in, according to new research. Ahead of 2024’s big summer of sport, new findings from a study carried out by Snapchat reveal that almost half (47%) of 18 to 24 year olds believe the world of traditional sports fandom is inaccessible to them, believing it to be a tight-knit community that they are not able to be a part of without meeting certain criteria.

In fact, almost half (43%) of young people say they grew up believing they needed to be passionately invested in one particular sport, athlete or team to be considered a true ‘fan’. Another third (35%) admit they have felt pressure to either be a ‘die hard’ sports fan, or not get involved at all.

It seems the tides are turning, however, as the research conducted by Snapchat has highlighted a growing connection between sports and popular culture, with both online communities and fashion trends empowering young people to be part of sports communities. Notably, emerging fashion trends including “Bloke-core” and “Blokette” – both a firm feature of SS24 fashion shows – are helping Gen Z to feel more immersed in the world of sports.

The research also found:

  • Two thirds (65%) say their interest in sports has grown over the past year
  • 37% of young people say they seek out opportunities to connect with like-minded sports fans online
  • Almost a quarter (22%) say this online connectivity has increased their interest in sports
  • A third (36%) say their increased interest in sport is a result of sportswear inspired fashion
  • Half (51%) say wearing sport-inspired fashion helps them to feel more connected to sports, and reduces the pressure to be a ‘die hard’ sports fan
  • Over a third (38%) say that fashion plays a key part in how they express themselves as sports fans
  • Over a quarter (26%) of 18 to 24 year olds consider themselves sports fans but don’t follow one team in particular

According to the research, over half (56%) say platforms like Snapchat help them to feel part of a community where they can celebrate sports in a relaxed way. For young people, this means:

  • Using group chats to discuss game and sports fixtures live (60%)
  • Accessing sports news (49%), and seeking inspiration for where to catch the game (29%)
  • Seeking inspiration for what to wear on match day (22%)

Kahlen Macaulay, senior manager, sports partnerships at Snapchat, said: “Sports fandom today isn’t just about liking one sport or supporting a particular team. Fans love using Snapchat to chat, watch and celebrate sports – whether you’re a casual fan that loves being part of sports culture through your matchday fit or a “die hard” fan – we’re excited to see how people will celebrate this summer of sports and this partnership is all about celebrating our amazing community of sports fans on Snapchat.”


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