Study Find Gen Z Boys Prefer Non-Traditional vs Traditional Sports

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The cultural tenets specific to Gen Z have led to disruption within numerous industries, and sports is not immune. Broadly, Gen Z values creativity, innovation, skill, and hard work; its members are open minded and progressive. According to the new data published today Whistle Sports, this trend manifests as an extremely inclusive view of what defines a sport, with a greater emphasis on emerging activities alongside traditional ones.

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Whistle Sports, one of the top socially engaged sports entertainment media brands and the tenth fastest-growing media company on the 2018 Inc. 500 list, has released new proprietary data about the attitudes and perceptions of sports and sports video content among Gen Z males, with significant implications for sports marketers and content producers.

As the popularity of non-traditional sports continues to grow, these non-traditional sports look to take over an even greater share of audience from traditional sports. A majority of men age 13 to 21 (52%) already spend more time following non-traditional sports than traditional sports – and half of young men say that following new sports takes time away from those they already follow.

The study found:

  • 90% of Gen Z males say there are many definitions of sports today
  • 56% feel that non-traditional sports are more relevant to their generation than traditional sports
  • 76% of Gen Z males think that an activity has to have practiced skills to be considered a sport; in fact, they believe practiced skills are more important to sports than physical activity
  • Strikingly, competition is their reward unto itself, with 78% saying it’s an important component of a sport versus just 41% who actually need trophies or prizes

To download the results from the “Changing The Game: How Gen Z is Redefining Sports, Consumption & Sponsorship” study, please visit

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