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Stillman School of Business

Poll Finds High Interest for 2024 Summer Olympic Games

Paris Summer Olympics 2024With a month to go before the 2024 Summer Olympic Games kick off with an unprecedented Opening Ceremony in Paris, Americans are already showing great interest – even before all the teams are officially chosen.

The Opening Ceremonies will feature the Eiffel Tower serving as a backdrop as teams are introduced aboard boats cruising down the Seine River.

Asked if they were "more excited to watch the opening ceremony than previous ones," 56 percent of self-described Olympic fans, 51 percent of sports fans, 59 percent of avid fans and 48 percent of casual fans responded yes.

These were among the findings of a Seton Hall Sports Poll conducted June 19-21 among 1,611 adults across the country. The poll, which is sponsored by Seton Hall University’s Stillman School of Business and the Sharkey Institute featured a national representative sample from YouGov weighted on U.S. Census Bureau figures for age, gender, ethnicity, education, income and geography and has a margin of error of +/-2 percent.

Paris vs. Tokyo

For the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris, 59 percent of the general population and 75 percent of self-described sports fans said they planned to watch at least part of the Olympics. In comparison, for the Tokyo Summer Olympics held in 2021 just 49 percent of the general population and 65 percent of sports fans said they would watch – a difference of 10 points for each category.

"Clearly, interest in the Paris 2024 Olympic games is the strongest in recent years," said Seton Hall Professor Charles Grantham, director of the Center for Sport Management. "Beyond being in Paris, one of the most visited and famous cities in the world, these games feature a better time difference to see more competitions live, and less off the field distractions such as the pandemic (Tokyo 2021) or human rights concerns (Beijing 2022). This figures to be a sensational ratings success for NBC and its affiliates."

Olympics vs. NFL?

Fan interest in the Paris 2024 Summer Olympic games is on par with the NFL, the most popular sports league in the U.S. In a March 2024 Seton Hall Sports Poll, 61 percent of the American public considered the NFL a "top interest" or were "somewhat interested." A robust 63 percent considered the 2024 Summer Olympics a "top interest" or were "somewhat interested." By comparison, Major League Baseball, the second most popular sport in the U.S. from the March 2024 poll scored a 51 on the combination of those same two categories.

Breaking News

Breaking, commonly called break dancing, is the newest competition to debut at the Summer Olympics. Forty percent of the general population, 56 percent of Olympics fans, 49 percent of sports fans and 57 percent of avid fans indicated they are interested in watching breaking.

The practice of adding new sport competitions to attract a younger audience is something the American public agrees upon with 57 percent of the general population, 72 percent of Olympics fans, 64 percent of sports fans and 69 percent of avid fans all in favor. Sport Climbing, Skateboarding, and Surfing, all thought to be exciting to a younger generation, are newer competitions that debuted at the Tokyo 2021 games. Notably, the American public recorded almost the exact same percentages of approval when asked then.

Most Popular Olympic Competitions

According to the American public, the four most popular competitions are Gymnastics (46% of the general population, 50% of sports fans, 44% of avid fans), swimming (46% of the general population, 56% of sports fans, 54% of avid fans), basketball (33% of the general population, 47% of sports fans, 59% of avid fans), and track & field (31% of the general population, 40% of sports fans, 40% of avid fans).

"The Olympics have learned to bridge the ancient and traditional with a finely tuned sense of the contemporary, effectively building brand viability," said Daniel Ladik, marketing professor in the Stillman School and chief methodologist to the Poll. "There is obviously a core audience for the base competitions, but it is impressive the way the Olympic Committee continues to grow its audience among the younger demographic by expanding its events."

About the Poll

The Seton Hall Sports Poll (SHSP), conducted regularly since 2006, is performed by the Sharkey Institute within the Stillman School of Business. This poll was conducted online by YouGov Plc. using a national representative sample weighted according to gender, age, ethnicity, education, income and geography, based on U.S. Census Bureau figures. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all U.S residents. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls. The Seton Hall Sports Poll has been chosen for inclusion in iPoll by Cornell’s Roper Center for Public Opinion Research and its findings have been published everywhere from USA Today, ESPN, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, AP, and Reuters to CNBC, NPR, Yahoo Finance, Fox News and many points in between.

Daniel Ladik, Ph.D., served as Chief Methodologist. Visit here for June 2024 Olympics SHSP results. This SHSP was conducted June 19 to-21 and includes responses from 1,611 US adults with a margin of error of +/- 2.0%. The sample mirrors the US Census percentages on age, gender, income, education, ethnicity, and region.

Categories: Athletics