The Olympics Sports Fan: A Distinctive Demographic

Andrew C. Billings, Samuel Hakim, Qingru Xu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter provides an overview of what the modern sports fan resembles demographically, making the case that Olympic fans resemble a unique demographic within the sports media space, specifically in regard to age, gender, and likelihood to consume other sports. While the Olympics still garners audiences in the billions, there are still certain elements that either draw audiences to or repel them from Olympic content, loyalty, and allegiance. Three subsections outline differences between Olympic and non-Olympic sports fans, linear (mostly television) consumption habits of Olympic fans, and digital and mobile media use that typically accompanies Olympic sports fandom. Olympic media fans prove to be increasingly interactive as they seek live/immediate content to bolster their fandom, yet still predominantly consume the Games via traditional television. The specific uniqueness of the Games—in terms of elements such as their infrequency (Summer and Winter every four years) and their combined appeal (dozens of disciplines of which virtually any sports fan can find something appealing and something else less so) are argued to explain some of these unique trendlines.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Sport Fans and Fandom
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781000552430
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 selection and editorial matter, Danielle Sarver Coombs and Anne C. Osborne; individual chapters, the contributors.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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