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Generation Alpha Prefers Soccer, Basketball, Football over Baseball

U.S. professional football and basketball have a future, baseball needs help and global soccer, including Major League Soccer, is quickly rising among a new generation, according to a new survey.

According to a recent report from the Morning Consult, Generation Alpha parents (those born after 2013) and compared the results with a Gen Z (ages 13 to 23) survey last year.

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Photo: USAG-Humphreys / Creative Commons

The survey garnered responses from more than 2000 US parents of Gen Alpha children and produced several insights. Below is an excerpt from that Morning Consult article.

They found that soccer is the No. 1 participation sport and second in fandom for Alphas. And 73% of the parents are encouraging their kids to play sports, while 65% encourage them to be sports fans.

“You’re seeing more interest among young adults in soccer internationally and to a certain extent MLS. As this first generation of U.S.-born soccer fanatics has kids, they may push them in that direction,” Alex Silverman, who analyzes sports studies for Morning Consult, said.

In the survey, released Monday, the firm wanted to know if Gen Alpha, the kids of Millennials, “will take after their parents more or follow in the footsteps of Gen Z and move away from sports,” said Silverman, suggesting Alphas could emulate Gen Z behavior when it comes to sports fandom.

“I would say I wouldn’t expect to see a drop-off, which is good news because there was a drop-off between Millennials and Gen Z,” Silverman said.

The troubling signs come courtesy of COVID-19. Morning Consult said 35% of the parents noted Alphas lost interest in sports during the pandemic. This month marks one year since the NBA led US pro sports in suspending games due to COVID-19.

The survey found Major League Baseball continues to poll low with younger generations. Silverman said parents of the past two generations said they grew up watching baseball dropped significantly in the Gen Z survey and remain low among Alpha parents.

To read the full survey from Morning Consult, click here