Monday, April 28th, 2014

With Toyota as its premier partner, and the majority of its teams being sponsored by car brands, the AFL could almost be called the Automotive Football League. But are footy fans any likelier than the average Australian to be in the market for a new car? Are the AFL’s numerous automotive sponsors getting good ROI? Roy Morgan Research investigates…

As of January 2014, 2,355,000 Australians aged 14+ were intending to buy a new car in the next four years — with 1,055,000 (or 44.8%) of them being AFL supporters. That represents a hefty swathe of the population 14+ (13.9%) being exposed to automotive sponsors in one way or another: via signage at matches and seen on TV broadcasts, on team websites and players’ jerseys, and so on.

In good news for Sydney Swans sponsor Volkswagen, 188,000 (or 16.1%) of the team’s supporters are planning to buy a new car in the next four years. With well over one million Australians counting themselves as Sydney supporters, the team has the largest fan-base in the country, so it makes sense that they’d have the most new car intenders in terms of sheer numbers.

Proportion of each AFL team’s supporters who intend to buy a new car in next 4 years


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), February 2013-January 2014. Base: Australians 14+ who intend to purchase a new car in next 4 years & support AFL club (n=1,062).

While Melbourne Demons may have fewer supporters (182,000) than most AFL teams, they top the list with the highest proportion of supporters (21.5%) in the market for a new car — 76% more likely than the average Aussie — a statistic no doubt appreciated by their sponsor AHG, a nationwide network of automotive dealerships. (Somehow, we doubt it eases the pain of being so low on the ladder, though…)

Other teams with supporters who outstrip the national average in terms of new car intention are Richmond (sponsored by Jeep/40% more likely), Geelong (sponsored by Ford/26% more likely) and Brisbane (sponsored by Hyundai/38% more likely).

Although fans of Greater Western Sydney and Western Bulldogs are respectively 21% and 16% more likely than the average Australian to be new car intenders, neither team currently has an automotive sponsor. Is that the sound of opportunity knocking?

Jordan Pakes, Group Account Director — Automotive, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Sponsorship of sporting teams is one of the many ways brands look to either raise or maintain awareness and attempt to engage potential or current consumers. Auto brands pay big money for AFL sponsorship, and not surprisingly they are after maximum ROI for their investment.


“Some teams have a higher proportion of new car intenders among their supporter base than others; so provided there is a sensible fit between the brand and supporters this should be a good thing from a new sales perspective.


 “For brands looking to sponsor a club, understanding what kind of people make up the different supporter bases is crucial. Two high-profile teams without an auto brand sponsor are Hawthorn and Fremantle. When looking at the Helix Personas profile of both teams’ supporter bases, Progressive Thinkers (Persona 109) feature prominently on both lists, accounting for close to 10% of Fremantle’s total supporters.

“Progressive Thinkers are almost 20% more likely than the average Australian to be in the market for a new car over the next four years. In terms of which brands they’re after (and which brands don’t currently sponsor a team), Subaru and BMW would be a potentially strong fit.”

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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
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automotive industry, afl, hyundai, toyota, jeep, volkswagen, ford, geelong, melbourne demons, richmond tigers, sydney swans, brisbane lions




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