Competitive Edge - Sports & Entertainment Marketing News

The Sports Industry’s Gen Z Problem: Fewer Fans, Lower Viewership


The millennial generation’s coming-of-age coincided with massive growth in the North American sports industry. Between 2010 and 2018, the North American sports market grew more than 40 percent from $49.9 billion to $71.1 billion, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, fueled primarily by skyrocketing media rights and sponsorship revenue.

With more access than ever to a wider range of competitions, the men and women born between 1981 and 1996 developed an insatiable appetite for live sports, lifting leagues, teams, networks and brands to unprecedented heights.

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Discussion Questions:

  1. What is competition for the entertainment dollar?
  2. How might the introduction of new sports and the growth of esports present challenges for traditional mainstream sports to capture the attention of consumers?
  3. What is market segmentation?
  4. Who is Gen Z?
  5. Why do you think Gen Z is important to traditional mainstream sports leagues?
  6. How might the levels of fandom surrounding traditional mainstream sports among Gen Z consumers present challenges for marketers?
  7. If you were a sports business professional working for a traditional mainstream sports league like MLB or the NBA, what would you do to increase interest among Gen Z consumers? Be prepared to share and discuss your ideas.
Chris Lindauer
After working for nearly a decade in professional sports, Chris Lindauer, formed Sports Career Consulting to provide unique sports business education opportunities in and out of the classroom. In the eighteen years (and counting) that followed, Chris has inspired thousands of students to pursue their passions and explore the career of their dreams. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, two teenage daughters and their dog.


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