Race Representation And Gen Z | Engaging The Next Generation Of Sports Fans

Izzy Hall

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Sport is an immense part of the entertainment industry – whether it’s fashion, gaming, watching, or playing, it’s inescapable. And with international events such as the Women’s 2022 EUROS and Netflix series Formula 1: Drive to Survive, the sports industry is permeating Gen Z culture across the world. But there are a number of important issues that exist within this sector that need to be addressed. 

It may come as a surprise that Gen Z is less engaged with sports than previous generations, and this in part comes down to a lack of equal and fair representation. In our Voxburner+ report, ‘Game, Set, Match | Engaging the next generation of sports fans’, we take a look at why this is and share how your brand (regardless of sector) can make sports more accessible for young people. Today, we’ll be focusing on one theme of the report: race representation.

Engaging the next generation of sports fans

Over recent years, there have been a number of significant socio-political movements which have been demanding change when it comes to the issues, barriers and systemic racism that non-white people across the world face every day. But there’s still a long way to go; certain issues limit young non-white people’s accessibility to sports, and much of the media still channels (un)conscious bias towards certain athletes, whilst millions of young people simply don’t see themselves represented on the screens. 

Today, ahead of the launch of the report, we share ten key takeaways which discuss the impact that diverse and inclusive representation has on Gen Z and share what young people really think about brands’ involvement in socio-political issues.

10 key insights looking at race representation in sports

➡️ 55% of Gen Zers from the UK think more needs to be done to increase race representation in sport

➡️ Whether it’s a socio-political issue that you’re passionate about or a cause that you want to fight for, young people want to see brands engage with the big issues that impact them and their peers

➡️ 41% of US Gen Zers think there’s a lack of representation of different races in advertising sportswear and products 

➡️ ‘I think there are a lot of systemic issues when it comes to racism in sports that need addressing, and I don’t feel like young people can be ‘supported’ until you’ve addressed that.’  Gen Z survey respondent sharing how brands can support young people

➡️ 67% of young people from the UK say more needs to be done to tackle racism in sport

➡️ By pushing for diversity within the sporting industry, we’re ensuring that young people across the world have constant, powerful visibility to people to whom they can relate

➡️ 66% of Gen Zers from the US say that when they see racism towards sporting professionals, it upsets them

➡️ Brands need to offer opportunities to young people who may otherwise be facing a lack of exposure. Not only with this support be invaluable to Gen Zers, but it will also encourage a diversity of voices within your company – something which sets you up for the long term

➡️ 82% of young people from the UK said that when thinking about purchasing clothes and apparel from sporting brands, they’d opt for Nike 

➡️ ‘[Brands need to] make campaigns to expose the reality and damaging effects [of racism]…and try to increase the frequency of sponsors with people from diverse [backgrounds].’ Gen Z survey respondent sharing how brands can support young people

young men on diving boards, swimming

With exclusive Voxburner+ research and insights from expert contributors and Gen Zers, this report is a must-read for anyone wanting to gain a deeper understanding of the world of sports and the intersecting communities, as well as how D&I strategies can be improved in order to empower young people and nurture brand-consumer relationships. 

‘Game, Set, Match | Engaging the next generation of sports fans’ is available on Voxburner+. To access the full report, plus additional content including deep dives and infographics, subscribe now.


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