On August 14, the Matildas’ semi-final against England rewrote history books as the most-watched TV program in Australia in more than two decades – reaching an audience of more than 11 million nationally.

With the Albanese government pledging $200 million for women’s sport off the back of the Matildas’ inspirational WWC run, YouthInsight looks at Gen Z’s engagement with sport to understand the impact of these forthcoming initiatives and FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.

Using cross-sectional comparison data from 2021 to September 2023, here is what we found out.


  1. In the past three months, more Gen Zs attended a sporting event than a concert or gig.
  2. In 2023, Gen Zs spent more money on tickets to sporting events compared to 2021.
  3. This year, 31 per cent of Gen Zs read sports related content, an uplift from 20 per cent in 2022.

Download our full infographic below

Gen Z’s sports attendance

In 2023, 29 per cent of 14- to 24-year-olds have attended professional sporting events in the past three months. Though a decrease from their attendance frequency in 2021 (32%), over a 12 week period, significantly more Gen Zs attend sporting events than seen live music (26%). Men were most likely to attend a sporting event, with 37 per cent doing so at least a few times every three months, followed by women (22%), and non-binary and gender diverse respondents (18%).

In an age-group comparison, of the 29 per cent attended, 14-17 year-olds did so at a higher rate (36%) compared to 18-21 and 22-24 age groups cohorts (both 32%).

How Gen Z spends money on sports

In the past four weeks (August to September, 2023), Gen Zs spent more money on tickets to sporting events than in 2021, (12% 2023 vs 6% in 2021) – with results consistent across genders. However, their purchase of sports clothing and equipment has decreased. Here, we’ve seen a drop from 22 per cent in 2021 to 18 per cent this year. Though men were more likely to spend money on sports clothing and equipment than other genders (23% vs 15%), the overall drop from 2021 to 2023 may be reflective of current financial pressures.

Gen Z’s engagement with sports news and content

In 2023, almost a third of Gen Zs are reading sports related content (31%) – an uplift from 20 per cent (or one in five) in 2022. These results are consistent across age groups but not gender, with men more engaged in sports content and news.

Overall, Gen Z’s interest in sports is second to technology (35%), but ahead of topics including gaming (28%), food (29%), finance (20%), politics (20%), business (15%) and fashion (18%).

FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 was the most successful in history, with the Matildas capturing the hearts and minds of football fans across Australia, including Gen Z. A massive boost for women’s sport, gender equality in sports may be its legacy. With our 2023 data showing some uplift in engagement in sports from 2021 and 2022, we will continue to keep track of Gen Z’s engagement to understand its impact post 2023.

Get in touch with YouthInsight to request a complimentary lunch and learn session where we take you and your team through the latest Gen Z and student insights: anna.denejkina@studentedge.com.au