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The Zeal of New Zealanders: A Study on Kiwi Sports Fanatics

Sports Reports
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4min read

Thinking about bailing on a work meeting to catch a crucial match of your beloved sports team? You’d be joined by over half (55%) of Kiwi sports fanatics, our new study reveals.

But how do New Zealanders score when it comes to naming their offspring after their favourite sports heroes? And who has their love for the club both figuratively and literally under their skin? Time2play is turning up the heat on the sports fever meter and asked over 1,000 New Zealand sports enthusiasts just how far they will go in their love for “the team”.

Sports fans infographic 1

One third named child after sports idol

Changing Messi’s nappy or hitting the playground with Barrett – it’s not as strange as it may sound. One third of respondents have named one or more children after their athletic heroes, while one out of five paid homage to their cherished team or player by naming their furry companions after their sports idols. And just when you think that the dedication couldn’t get any stronger, 3% went all out, naming both a child and a pet after their beloved sports icon. These figures demonstrate the profound impact and lasting inspiration that sports have on fans’ lives.

Work meetings vs. the game

When asked if they would ditch a work meeting to catch a crucial game of their favourite team or athlete, 55% responded in agreement. But the love for the club often triumphs over family obligations as well: over one third (37%) would gladly skip a birthday or wedding to watch their favourite team play.

57% plan vacations around games

On average, New Zealand sports enthusiasts manage to watch around 50% of their favourite sports stars’ matches. They spare no expense or effort, willingly travelling 5 hours or more and spending an average of NZ$40-50 to witness their favourite sports team live in action.

However, there are always those who take it a step further. A remarkable 57% of Kiwi sports aficionados have gone the extra mile by planning their vacations around games, with 56% even travelling abroad.

(Permanent) souvenirs

Proving that love for sports goes beyond the game and under the skin, over a quarter of respondents have tattoos paying tribute to their favourite sports team or athlete. Additionally, almost a quarter of those who don’t, are open to the idea of immortalizing their sports heroes on their bodies.

The fandom can also be expressed in less drastic ways: an impressive 87% of respondents proudly embrace sports memorabilia, reflecting a widespread love for collecting items related to their favourite teams and athletes. This significant majority demonstrates the clear enjoyment and interest in commemorating memorable sporting moments through tangible keepsakes.


In June 2023, we surveyed 1,011 New Zealand sports enthusiast. 55% of our respondents identified as male, 44% as female, 1% as other.

For media inquiries, please contact [email protected]

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