RUGBY, FOOTBALL, ATHLETICS, ESPORT, MMA, FRISBEE, PARKOUR….
Whether it’s The Rugby World Cup, (The World Rugby U20 World Championships is kicking off in South Africa this weekend), MMA, The FIFA Women's World Cup next month, The League of Legends World Championship (Oct ‘23) or an upcoming Local Ultimate Frisbee League or Parkour Competition …chances are Gen Z is into it..
But what can mainstream sport learn from emerging and fast-growing sport cultures?
Esports is the home domain of Gen Z, (by 2024, the number of eSports enthusiasts is predicted to reach a total of 577.8 million) and expected to gain Olympic status in 2028. Extreme sports is also top of their viewing agenda - A GWI global survey in advance of the Winter Olympics in 2022 found that while figure skating was the no.1 sport for the majority, it was extreme sports that Gen Z and millennials were more interested in watching. Athletics is also having a moment with the Gen Z cohort fascinated by the personal triumph of young stars who are pushing themselves to their limits and breaking new records - watch 20-year-old Irish athlete Rhasidat Adeleke win gold for the University at Texas at the recent NCAA Championship to see how she is inspiring her Gen Z peers. In general, sports that emphasise individuality, creativity, and self-expression all stand a chance of showing up in the Gen Z sports repertoire.
“Ultimate Frisbee is perfectly designed for the Gen Z mindset. There aren’t any referees or officials: all conflicts on the pitch are resolved between players even at the highest level, so the importance of the “spirit of the game” is something ingrained in each player from the start of their time playing. After each game, both teams join in a huddle to discuss the positives and negatives of the game together, which means camaraderie in the community stretches far beyond the people on your team.” Eimhin, 30, Dublin - The Love Network