Inside the numbers: MMA and boxing fans
MMA has rapidly risen in popularity even in just the last few years. Interestingly, boxing has seen a resurgence at the same time. Many linear TV and OTT platforms are capitalizing on the deep engagement of this audience with these sports and others. This article will give you a deeper understanding of the demographics and psychographics of boxing and MMA fans and viewers. Keep in mind all data cuts presented here, from my recent World’s Greatest Fan Engagement Study, are those who follow boxing and MMA on a regular basis.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the demographics.
Right out of the gate there’s a surprise. 44% of the audience is female. I would’ve assumed more of a 70%/30% male-to-female split. The marketing of both sports does not reflect the preferences of female audiences.
As far as the age demos, no real surprises. The audience is 41% 25–34 years old; which is a coveted age demo (high disposable income, at a life stage where they are shaping their brand habits). The rest of the age demos are 30% (35–44), 12% (18–24), 11% (45–54) and 6% (13–17). Nothing noteworthy on the household income side with 65% making less than $75,000. Simply a reflection of the 25–34 demo that over-indexes as boxing and MM fans. In terms of ethnicity, there are strong over-indexes for Black/African-Americans (218 index) and for Hispanics/Latinos (154 index) with the majority of the audience White/Caucasian (60%).
Three areas show why boxing and MMA fans are so valuable.
First, they consume more sports than any other sports fan. Boxing and MMA fans over-index for every sport tested! This means if you can attract and retain the boxing and MMA audience you can grow your product offering (i.e. DAZN or ESPN+) to other sports. Take a look below.
The second area that makes boxing and MMA fans so valuable is their digital and social media consumption. Not only do they over-index for every digital and social platform I tested (see below)…
…they also over-index for every social media behavior. They are ideal social marketing vehicles for the sports, content creators around the sports and for media distributors (see below).
The final data point that reinforces the real value of this audience is their strong interest in recommending brands to others. This is one of the strongest ‘very often’ over-indexes I have ever seen in any of my studies (see below).
And here is a list of a few brands they over-index for… (see below)
I envision a continued rise in popularity of boxing and MMA. It will be interesting to track this as younger demos come into the 25–34 year-old age range and as the 25–34 demo ages.