Generation Alpha kids carry on trend of declining interest in sports
73% of parents with children in Generation Alpha (2013–present) said they encourage their kids to play sports, but just 33% of those kids actually play, according to a survey from Morning Consult.
Why it matters: Sports interest seems to have peaked with millennials — who largely comprise the parents of Generation Alpha — so engaging younger generations has become the sports industry's key challenge.
The state of play: Gen Z (children of Gen X) began the trend of decreasing sports interest, coming of age in the tech and social media boom.
- Generation Alpha, the first generation to be born into a world with iPads and Instagram (both launched in 2010), are continuing that trend as they come of age amid an overabundance of content choices.
- Worth noting: The age range targeted in the survey (kids born 2013–2017) is incredibly young, so it's wise to take the results — which again, are parents answering on their kids' behalf — with a grain of salt.
Between the lines: The impact of the pandemic can't be overstated, as any positive momentum kids may have had regarding their sports fandom or participation hit a substantial one-year snag.
Yes, but: That hasn't stopped sports leagues from being proactive in their efforts to win back younger consumers by meeting them where they are.
- The NHL's "Breaking the Ice" pilot program, similar to MLB's "Fun At Bat" program, focuses on at-home activities with instructional videos.
- The NFL scored big with its Nickelodeon gambit, as their made-for-kids playoff game broadcast in January attracted the channel's largest audience in nearly four years.