The global sports business agency SPORTFIVE and STATISTA, the renowned German online portal for statistics, will publish the 2021 edition of the "European Football Benchmark" study in a joint effort. The publication date is set for middle of July 2021. The European Football Benchmark is the leading comparative football study concentrating on an international fan perspective, that e.g. “checks the pulse” of international football fans, examines the post-pandemic stadium experience, points out various potentials in a sport business context and draws comparisons with pandemic winners such as Esports.

A diverse deep dive into the fan’s mind: Strong desire to watch football and the UEFA EURO 2020
The European Football Benchmark is the football study that compares the five major European leagues from a fan’s perspective. A first glimpse into the study provides a diverse perspective and highlights the huge and unbroken desire for football amongst fans, not only in Europe but also in the U.S and China.
The study e.g. shows that the interest in the UEFA Euro championship is tremendous on an international scale and particularly noteworthy in this context is the hunger of the Chinese population with a 87% interest in the UEFA EURO tournament, which is even more than for example in ‚traditional‘ football countries such as Germany, UK or Spain. The general appetite for football amongst the population also remains high in countries such as China, Italy, UK, Germany and Spain at around 60%. 

Appreciation for sponsors, call for progressiveness, craving for the stadium experience and much more

Moreover, and regarding the wider sport business context, the study at a club level compares the top leagues in Germany, England, France, Italy, and Spain on the overarching aspects of awareness, image, and fan profiles. And fans not only value the sheer entertainment aspect but also begin to expect authenticity, integrity and displayed competency on all levels from the club they support.  For example, more than a third of international fans appreciated how sponsors supported their club during the pandemic. On another note, fans urge the clubs to not be afraid to be progressive (ca. 50%) and also expect a sponsor’s communication and actions to be sensitive to the image of a club: Around 40% of the fans in Germany, UK, Spain, Italy, France (and also U.S. and China) value these aspects very highly and state that this influences their perception of a successful partner- or sponsorship engagement. And following a challenging time for live sport events fans are now more eager than ever before to get the full stadium experience: 38% want to go to the stadium regularly after the pandemic, compared to 34% before.

This versatile first excerpt of the study gives an idea of what can be expected from the collected and evaluated data in this context. Furthermore, the study defines popularity and fit between the clubs and all main sponsors and clarifies the status quo of media behavior, attitudes, spending propensity and stadium attendance of fans, whilst also allowing conclusions in regard to various potentials involving Esports and social media in general.
Dr. Friedrich Schwandt, Founder of and CEO at STATISTA, says: “For us at STATISTA, as fans of the beautiful game, conducting the European Football Benchmark is a matter of heart. As the global number one business data platform, we have taken a fan-centric approach. This puts supporters’ opinions first, helping football clubs and sponsors make the best decisions with the fans in mind. We want to thank SPORTFIVE for the collaboration, their sports marketing experience and deep understanding of emotions between fans and clubs make them the perfect partner for the European Football Benchmark.”

Philipp Hasenbein, COO at SPORTFIVE, adds: “The European Football Benchmark generates the status quo and thus valuable insights and aspects for our core stakeholder: brands, rights-holders, media platforms, fans – and of course for ourselves. For example the exciting fact about the immense interest of the Chinese population in the UEFA EURO 2020 highlights the attractiveness of premium European football in regard to various internationalization potentials and the study also reveals so much more. We are pleased to have been able to make a decisive contribution to the study and would like to thank everyone involved at STATISTA for their trust."


The data powerhouse was founded in Germany in 2007 and has about 1,000 employees at twelve office locations on four continents. Statista is a leading business intelligence portal which conducts international market and consumer studies as well as surveys and provides data on 80,000 topics from 170 different industries. The business model "data as a service" is unique with no direct competitors in the market.


SPORTFIVE utilizes the unique emotional power of sports to create and enable pioneering partnerships in sports. By delivering responsible commercialization, full-service-solutions and long-term value for all stakeholders in sports, SPORTFIVE strategically and creatively connects brands, rights-holders, media platforms and fans by leveraging a global network paired with decades of experience and innovative spirit. As market leader and with customer centricity and vast data intelligence at its core, SPORTFIVE often leads the sports business into the future through its innovative digital solutions and thereby always aims to be the most progressive and respected partner in sports. SPORTFIVE operates as an international sports business and marketing agency with a global mindset and network of over 1,200 local experts based in 15 countries around the world, active in football, golf, esports, motorsport, handball, tennis, American football and many more. For more information please visit SPORTFIVE’s website, content hub and social profiles.

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