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Super Rugby: three teams claim support from most locals

Super Rugby: three teams claim support from most of their locals—but are their fans loyal or lazy?

With Super Rugby in full swing again, which New Zealand side enjoys the highest level of local support? And does this support translate into bums on seats in the stadium or the lounge room? Roy Morgan crunches the numbers.

The Crusaders get the highest rate of local support, with 54% of Cantabrians cheering for the men in red and black. Both the Chiefs and Highlanders can claim the support of over 50% of Waikato and Otago respectively, while 41% of Wellingtonians actively support the Hurricanes.

The Blues, however, haven’t gotten off to the greatest start to their 2015 Super Rugby campaign—and to make matters worse the team has the lowest rate of local support: only 28% of Aucklanders say they support the Blues.

% of Kiwis in each region that support their local Super Rugby team

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (New Zealand), November 2013 – October 2014 (n=11,665). Base: New Zealanders 14+.

But although the Crusaders boast the greatest home-town support on paper, Highlanders fans are the most likely to actually go to a Super Rugby game. 24% of Highlanders supporters went to at least one Super Rugby game in the last 12 months, compared with 22% of Crusaders supporters and 21% of Chiefs supporters.

Although just 18% of Hurricanes supporters went to a game, 39% say they almost always watch Super Rugby on TV—the highest rate of dedicated TV viewership, alongside the Chiefs.

But unfortunately for the Blues, their equally low turn-out rate of 18% of supporters isn’t compensated by higher TV viewing: 33% of Blues supporters say they almost always watch Super Rugby on TV, the lowest for all of the NZ fan bases.

% of supporters who attend or watch games

Went to a game in past yearWatch on TV almost always

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (New Zealand), November 2013 – October 2014 (n=11,665). Base: New Zealanders 14+

John La Rosa, Client Services New Zealand, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“A buoyant home crowd can be the difference between winning and losing a home game. Both the Chiefs and the Crusaders have done excellent jobs in recent years at getting bums on seats for home games, which can only have a positive effect on the players.

“For the Blues, the challenge moving forward is how to build on their already sizeable supporter base. Getting a couple of wins on the board in 2015 will help, but finding and targeting supporters with appropriate media and offerings will also be key to help fill out Eden Park.

“No matter what position a team is on the ladder, having a loyal and supportive fan base is vital for any franchise. The numbers suggest that the NZ franchises are preforming well, but plenty of opportunities exist to get more supporters off the couch and down to the games.”

© Scoop Media

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