Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

This Sunday sees Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC face off for the A-League Grand Final, a showdown in which host team Melbourne will be hoping to avenge their 2010 Grand Final loss to their northern rivals. With no larger stadiums available, the match will take place in the modestly sized AAMI Park: which means cosy conditions for supporters. So how will fans of Victory and the Sky Blues get along in such close quarters? The latest findings from Roy Morgan Research set the scene…

More than 2.8 million Australians aged 14+ support an A-League team. Accounting for 15% of that total is Melbourne Victory (with some 423,000 fans), ahead of Sydney FC with 12% of total A-League supporters (349,000 people). Both clubs have a similar proportion of financial members (7% each), and share a comparable male:female ratio of supporters (72%:28%).

Sydney FC supporters: hooked on football

In general, Sydney FC’s supporters seem more committed to the sport. A higher proportion attend football (soccer) matches (26% vs 22% of Melbourne Victory supporters), and watch A-League matches on TV (54% vs 48%), as well as English Premier League (40% vs 36% of Victory supporters) and the FIFA World Cup (64% vs 56%).

A-League supporters: Melbourne Victory vs Sydney FC

Melbourne Victory supporters

Sydney FC supporters

Vital stats

  • How many? 423,000
  • 90% live in Victoria
  • 72% male: 28% female supporters
  • 48% watch A-League on TV
  • 69% watch AFL (regular season) on TV
  • How many? 349,000
  • 94% live in New South Wales
  • 72% male: 28% female supporters
  • 54% watch A-League on TV
  • 51% watch NRL (regular season) on TV

More likely than Sydney FC supporters to:

More likely than Victory supporters to:

  • Buy liquor in an average 7 days
  • Eat out (and order takeaway pizza)
  • Play AFL
  • Buy a lottery ticket
  • Drive a Toyota, Ford or Holden
  • Be born in Australia
  • Go to the pub for a drink only
  • Go to an RSL, Leagues or other club
  • Play football (soccer)
  • Play pool/snooker/billiards
  • Drive a Mitsubishi, Honda or Suzuki
  • Be born in Italy, UK or Ireland

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January–December 2014 (n=15,944)Base: Australians 14+, except for alcohol and gambling data (18+)

In contrast, Melbourne fans are overwhelmingly more likely to tune into AFL broadcasts (69%) than A-League or any other football (soccer) on TV. The proportion who play soccer themselves (21%) is almost as high as that of Sydney FC supporters (23%), however.

Melbourne Victory supporters: well-rounded

So what are Melbourne Victory supporters doing while Sydney’s fans are watching and playing football? Despite their boisterous reputation, they’re not more likely to be at the pub: in any given three months, 28% of Victory fans go to the pub for a drink, while this figure rises to 35% of Sydney supporters.

Of course, this doesn’t mean they’re abstaining: a higher proportion of drinking-aged Victory supporters (34%) than Sydney FC fans (30%) buy liquor in an average seven days, with beer being a particular favourite (21% vs 18%). Sydney supporters, on the other hand, are more likely to opt for wine.

In an average three months, Victory fans are generally more likely than Sydney supporters to eat out everywhere from licensed restaurants to cafes and fast-food joints; to go to the cinema; play the pokies, place bets and buy lottery tickets.

Although Hyundai is the Official Partner of the A-League, supporters of both Grand Final teams are less likely than the average Australian to drive Hyundais.

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

“Roy Morgan’s Single Source is Australia’s most extensive study of the country’s sports fans, and reveals some interesting differences between the supporters of Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC.

“Because Sunday’s Grand Final is taking place in Melbourne, there will probably be more Victory fans in the stands than Sydney FC supporters. But our data suggests that those Sydney fans who are present will be more invested in the match: overall, supporters of the Sky Blues show a greater commitment to the sport than their Melbourne counterparts.

“Victoria’s reputation as the country’s most enthusiastic AFL state can be seen even among its soccer supporters, who are more likely to watch AFL rather than A-League matches on TV! Obviously, however, Victory supporters will be hoping for a home win – in fact, many will probably place a bet on the outcome…”

Contact Profile

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.
Shaun Ellis
P: 03 9224 5332


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