Mark Beal | Engaging Generation Z is mandatory to achieve future sports business success – SportBusiness

Mark Beal | Engaging Generation Z is mandatory to achieve future sports business success – SportBusiness

Mark Beal

Recent survey findings sent concern through the sports business industry reporting that only 53 percent of Generation Zers identify as sports fans compared to 69 percent of millennials and 63 percent of adults. Was I surprised? No!

As someone who researches and collaborates daily with Gen Z, my response to those who regarded the survey data point as the demise of sports was to close up shop now. Truthfully, I see great opportunity for sports leagues, teams, properties and sponsors in engaging Gen Z, both now and in the future.

Gen Z is rewriting the rules when it comes to sports fandom as well as other business factors and metrics ranging from marketing and advertising to content consumption and purchase behavior.

Let’s level-set on who comprises Gen Z and why I believe it is mandatory that any entity in sports business must effectively start to engage this consumer now to succeed in the future.

Gen Z was first born in 1997 according to Pew Research Center and I set their last birth year as 2012, a 15-year span. In 2021, Gen Zers will range from elementary school age to those who recently graduated college and joined the workforce.

I believe Gen Z is the next most important consumer segment for the future success of every sports league, team, property, manufacturer, sponsor, and media company. Why? Gen Z is the largest
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