SOURCE: Influenster


August 05, 2016 10:00 ET

2016 Summer Olympics Infographic: 75% of Millennial Women Who Plan to Watch the Olympics Will Do so Through Live TV Programming

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - August 05, 2016) - Influenster, the product discovery and reviews platform, surveyed 3,992 US Millennial women to find out how they plan to engage with the biggest international sporting event of the year -- the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Despite the controversy facing the Rio Olympics, 54% of American Millennial women plan to tune in. This survey reveals everything from the sports these women are most looking forward to watching, to their thoughts on the controversies surrounding the games, and the Team USA Olympians they follow on social media. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and NBCUniversal can expect a record-setting year with the Rio Olympics beating the 2012 London Olympics as the most-watched event in US history.

Despite the decline in live TV viewing amongst Gen Y, 75% of Millennial women plan to watch the Olympics on TV.
A surprising 18% of Millennial women will be watching the Olympics through live streaming on, while a staggering 75% will be tuning into the games on TV. The biggest motivation for them is supporting Team USA (51%), followed by their love of watching live sports (46%), wanting to be in-the-know since it's a major world event (37%), watching the opening and closing ceremonies (33%), the easy-to-follow programming of the event (19%), and supporting their favorite athletes (18%).

When it comes to live programming, 71% of Millennial women plan to watch more live events than previous Olympic seasons because the USA and Rio are in similar time zones. This would seem to indicate that the unprecedented number of hours NBC has allocated for live programming will not go to waste. Not surprisingly, the most popular time frame for women in the Eastern time zone to tune in is 7-10PM (73%), as compared to 4-7PM for Central (64%), Mountain (63%) and Pacific time zones (54%). They plan to watch the Olympics a few times each week (45%). Only 7% indicated that they'd watch every single sporting event, while 30% plan to watch daily, and 18% plan to watch a few times throughout the whole event.

Millennial women prefer TV over Social Media to stay updated on the games.
When it comes to keeping up with the Olympics, Millennial women are bucking the current social-media-focused trends for traditional TV viewing -- 68% of them plan on staying up-to-date on the Olympics through television as compared to social media (63%), friends and family (33%), news websites (25%), the official website (19%), radio (13%), and newspaper (7%). Interestingly, only 10% of them plan on using the official Olympics app to stay updated on the games -- a surprise given the popularity of app platforms among women in this highly connected generation. Facebook (67%) is still the winning social media platform for Millennial women to stay updated, followed by Instagram (51%), Twitter (41%), Snapchat (37%), YouTube (31%), Google+ (8%), Reddit (6%), and Periscope (3%).

Surprisingly, 43% of Millennial women don't follow any athletes on social media. Of those who do follow sports stars, Michael Phelps (15%) is the most followed Team USA Olympian, gymnast Gabby Douglas comes in second (14%), and Serena Williams (13%), Ryan Lochte (7%), Kevin Durant (7%), Alex Morgan (6%), Aly Raisman (5%), Missy Franklin (5%), and Jordan Spieth (4%) also claim a Millennial following. Despite the buzz around Simone Biles -- currently lauded as perhaps the greatest gymnast of all time -- only 2% of Millennial women follow her on social media. That might change as soon as she rises to Olympic fame this August.

Millennial women are optimistic: They predict Team USA will bring home 101 - 110 Olympic medals even though forecasts suggest we'll rake in 98 medals this year.
After being shown Team USA's past Olympic medal counts (2012: 104 medals; 2008: 110 medals; 2004: 103 medals) and being asked to guess the number of medals they think that we'd win this year, Millennial women guessed that we'd hit a similar range of medal count as in 2012. However, researchers from Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung predict that USA will win 98 medals1 this year.

Notably, artistic gymnastics (50%) ranks first among the top ten Olympic sports that Millennial women are most excited to watch. Swimming (44%) is unabashedly the runner-up, followed by rhythmic gymnastics (39%), diving (34%), trampoline gymnastics (30%), beach volleyball (26%), volleyball (19%), basketball (16%), synchronized swimming (14%), and football (13%). 88% of Millennial women reveal that they're more likely to watch sports that Team USA is competitive in and 61% of them are more interested in watching female athletes compete in certain sports more than others.

China is viewed hands-down as the USA's biggest Olympic rival (55%). Despite the ban on Russia's track and field team from competing in the Olympics, they are still seen as a force to be reckoned with (49%). Other countries Millennial women view as formidable rivals include Germany (35%), Japan (29%), Great Britain (20%), France (15%), Australia (13%), South Korea (11%) and Italy (10%).

94% of millennial women think that Olympic athletes dope.
With all the headlines that Rio has been making in recent months, we asked Millennial women what they thought of the most current and controversial issues surrounding the Olympics. While 57% of them were concerned about the super bacteria and sewage found in bodies of water where water sporting events will be held, 56% are concerned about safety at the Olympics, and 61% agree with the ban on the Russian Track and Field team from competing in the Olympics after failing doping tests. 48% of Millennial women were concerned about the Zika virus in Rio.

Even more startlingly, 94% of Millennial women think that Olympic athletes dope. Of this group of Millennial women, 30% of them think that 1-19% of Olympic athletes dope, 34% of them think that 20-39% of athletes dope, 19% of them think that 40-59% athletes dope, 7% of them think that 60- 79% athletes dope, 1% of them think that 80-99% athletes dope, and 2% of them think that 100% athletes dope in the Olympics.

Millennial women don't remember worldwide Olympics and Team USA sponsors very well.
When given a list of brands, Millennial women were asked to identify the brands that they were absolutely sure are worldwide sponsors of the Olympics and Team USA. While Coca-Cola (59%), McDonald's (44%), Visa (26%), P&G (15%), and Samsung (15%) were the top five most recalled brand sponsors, women didn't fare as well recalling General Electric (4%), Bridgestone (2%), Omega (2%), Panasonic (2%), Dow (1%), and Atos (1%) as sponsors.

In terms of brand endorsements, it's helpful to note that Millennial women are most likely to buy sports apparel (57%) if they saw an athlete wearing it. In that context, other products that they are more likely to buy include sports shoes (42%), sports drinks (37%), water bottles (29%), branded sports apparel e.g. Team USA jersey (25%), sports equipment (21%), and sports bags (13%).

Looking forward to the 2024 Summer Olympics, almost half of Millennial women would like the games to return to the US.
Of the four candidate cities bidding to host the 2024 Summer Olympics, Millennial women want the event to be held at Los Angeles in USA the most (44%), followed by Rome in Italy (19%), Paris in France (11%), and Budapest in Hungary (8%). 19% of them were indifferent.

These are some of the key findings from an Influenster survey conducted from June 21-28th, 2016, with a total of 3,992 surveys completed involving a sample of 3,992 Millennial women across all ages (19-27: 60%; 28-35: 40%) with heavy social media usage (On 2+ social media channels: 99%). Average age of respondent: 25. Minority reach: 39%. The survey was conducted online in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. The margin of sampling error is +/- 1.55 percentage points at a 95% confidence level.

1Source: Significance Volume 13, Issue 3, pages 22–25, June 2016.

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