Wednesday, September 25th, 2013
Saturday’s AFL Grand Final between the Hawks and the Dockers is shaping up to be a close match, with most experts tipping Hawthorn for a narrow victory. But if the two finalists are well matched, their supporters are too. Mainly male, middle-aged and moneyed, both teams’ fans have a lot in common, according to the latest findings from Roy Morgan Research.

With 400,000 supporters, Fremantle has a slightly larger fan base than Hawthorn (390,000) and is getting more popular by the year, gaining almost 100,000 supporters since 2009. The Hawks, on the other hand, seem to be losing popularity, dropping more than 40,000 fans in the same period.

Both teams have more male fans than female: 58% of Hawks supporters are male, as are 54% of Fremantle’s. There’s also a distinctly Generation X skew, especially among Hawthorn supporters, 38% of whom are aged between 35 and 49. The majority of Dockers fans are either Gen X (28%) or Baby Boomers (27%). Neither team has a large youth following: under-25s comprise just 15% of Fremantle’s following and 12% of Hawthorn’s.

It’s well known that Hawks fans aren’t short of a dollar: in fact, they’re 76% more likely than the average Australian to earn $100,000 or more per year. But Dockers supporters aren’t doing too badly themselves, and are 54% more likely to earn the big bucks.

So, with the obvious exception of state lived in, how do Fremantle and Hawthorn supporters differ? Digging deep into the Roy Morgan Single Source database, we were able to ascertain that beneath their superficially similarities, they do vary in their attitudes and activities…

Fremantle vs Hawthorn: Attitudes and activities


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2012-June 2013 (n = 859).

Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Although Hawks and Dockers supporters are extremely similar at first glance, with their healthy incomes and mutual love of AFL, they become more distinct when we scratch the surface.

“Dockers supporters, 88% of whom live in WA, are environmentally conscious, fun-loving and optimistic about both the economy and their own financial situation. Hawks supporters, on the other hand, are a little more circumspect about money, to the point where they’re far more likely to take advantage of special offers on the back of supermarket dockets and redeem coupons for discounts.

“Regardless of which team wins on Saturday, we predict that a lot of pies and pasties will be sold at the MCG that afternoon – both groups of supporters are big fans of these classic footy snacks, more so than the average Australian.”

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Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is Australia's best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
Samantha Wilson
P: (03) 9224 5268


Fremantle, Hawthorn, Dockers, Hawks, AFL, Grand Final



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