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Reproduced from Morning Consult; Chart: Axios Visuals

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.

Go deeper

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Mar 3, 2021 - Sports

Olympians to launch media platform to celebrate female athletes

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Four Olympic gold medalists are launching Togethxr, a media platform aimed at celebrating millennial and Gen Z female athletes.

The big picture: Togethxr's launch comes at an exciting time for women's sports, with ratings spikes (WNBA), female ownership groups (NWSL) and startup leagues (Athletes Unlimited) creating lots of buzz.

2 hours ago - Technology

Facebook changes corporate name to Meta

Screen shot of CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the company's "Connect" virtual event

CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday said the social media giant is renaming its company Meta.

Why it matters: The effort is meant to shift its image from a social media platform to a “metaverse” company that focuses on building virtual work and social communities.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Filings show Sweetgreen isn't profitable, despite claims

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Restaurant chain Sweetgreen on Monday filed to go public, and revealed that it lost money in each year since 2014.

Why it matters: The company lied when it repeatedly told reporters it was profitable.