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‘Fighting furies’ from Tigerland take on the ‘Mighty Giants’

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia July 2017 – June 2019. n=29,219. Base: Australians aged 14+.
This week’s AFL Grand Final pits traditional Victorian powerhouse Richmond against a club that had yet to play a game a decade ago the GWS Giants.

The Tigers are chasing a second Premiership in three years after a drought-breaking win in 2017 and a 12th Premiership since their entry to the competition in 1908. In contrast the GWS Giants are into their first AFL Grand Final and looking for their inaugural Premiership.

Roy Morgan’s latest AFL supporter data shows the Tigers clearly have the edge in support with over 450,000 supporters set to cheer on the ‘Yellow & Black’ this weekend while the GWS Giants have built a supporter base of 190,000 since entering the AFL competition in 2012.

A look at the supporters of the two clubs shows Richmond have a more even gender split between men (56%) and women (44%) while nearly two-thirds of GWS Giants supporters are men (65%) cf. women (35%). Richmond and GWS are both set to field teams in the fourth season of the AFLW in 2020.

Both clubs have managed to attract young supporters with a third of GWS supporters aged under 35 and 32% of Tigers’ supporters in the same age group. However, the Tigers are strongest amongst the 50+ age group with nearly half their support (48%) in this age group compared to only 37% of GWS supporters. 

These are the latest findings from Roy Morgan’s Single Source survey which is based on in-depth personal interviews conducted face-to-face with over 50,000 Australians each year in their own homes. View Roy Morgan’s AFL supporter profiles to learn more about AFL supporters or the supporters of individual AFL clubs including Grand Finalists Richmond and GWS Giants.

AFL Supporter Comparison between Richmond and GWS Giants

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia July 2017 – June 2019. n=29,219. Base: Australians aged 14+.

Interestingly it is the newcomers the GWS Giants which have a higher proportion of Australian-born supporters (86%) compared to three-quarters of Richmond supporters.

GWS Giants supporters are slightly more likely than Richmond supporters to actually play Australian Rules (6% cf. 4%), and to have placed a bet on the AFL in the last year (8% cf. 7%).

However, Richmond fans are more likely to support their team in person with over a third (34%) attending an AFL match in the last year compared to 29% of Giants supporters.

In addition over three-quarters (77%) of Richmond supporters watched the AFL on TV in the last year compared to 71% of Giants supporters.

Attitudinal statements reveal how Tigers and Giants supporters compare to regular Australians

Roy Morgan not only analyses the demographic profiles of supporters of Australia’s 18 AFL clubs but also delves into how supporters of different clubs feel about important issues and topics that impact on all of us.

Tigers fans watch their weight, skeptical about globalisation and conscious of the environment

Comparing Richmond supporters to the average Australian, as well as supporters of Grand Final opponent the GWS Giants, shows Tigers supporters are more likely than either to be concerned about watching their weight with Tigers’ supporters agreeing at a higher rate that they ‘always think of the number of calories in the food I’m eating’ and ‘would like to be able to lose weight’.

Globalisation also strikes a chord for Tigers’ supporters with higher agreement than the average Australian that ‘globalisation brings more problems than it solves’ and ‘if we don’t act now we’ll never control our environmental problems’ in tune with the issue du jour.

The quintessential Tigers’ supporter is more likely than the average Australian to agree ‘it’s the Government’s duty to support those who can’t find work’ and also more likely say of himself that ‘he tends to make decisions based on logic rather than emotions’.

When it comes to holidays Tigers’ supporters like to kick back and relax and leave the thinking to others and are more likely than the average Australian to agree to ‘usually leave holiday arrangements to someone else’ and ‘on holidays like to do as little as possible’.

GWS Giants supporters worry about skin cancer, like Australian-made and like to be well insured

In contrast GWS supporters are more likely than Tigers’ supporters, as well as the average Australian, to ‘worry about contracting skin cancer’ – perhaps due to their more northerly location. Nearly nine-in-ten (88%) GWS Giants supporters come from NSW while 70% of Tigers’ supporters are from Victoria.

GWS Giants supporters also tend to be quite sporting compared to other Aussies and ‘love to do as many sports as possible’ and are also firmly in the camp of looking for locally made goods agreeing at a higher rate that they ‘will buy a product because of the label’ and ‘try to buy Australian made products as often as possible’.

The typical GWS Giants supporter also has a fine appreciation for automotive excellence and is more likely than the average Australian, and far more likely than Tigers’ supporters, to ‘choose a car mainly on its looks’ and agree that ‘You can tell a type of person by the type of car they drive’. GWS supporters are also more likely to ‘listen to the radio in the car’ and ‘often notice the advertisements on the tops and backs of taxis’. It is perhaps due to their affiliation with cars that they are also more likely to ‘like to be well insured

When it comes to holidays the quintessential GWS Giants supporter is certainly sprightlier than his Richmond supporting counterpart and more likely to agree that ‘he’s always very active on holidays’ as well as ‘preferring to holiday where he can see nature or be in a natural setting’.

Julian McCrann, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan says this year’s AFL Grand Final brings together two teams with contrasting histories to fight for the Premiership:

“This week’s AFL Grand Final is set to be fought out between a club from the inner Melbourne suburb of Richmond founded 124 years ago in 1885 and the AFL’s newest club founded ten years ago in Western Sydney as part of the AFL’s expansion drive into new territories.

“The two clubs couldn’t have more contrasting histories with Richmond playing off in search of its 12th Premiership and the GWS Giants in search of their first. Given where they’ve come from its hardly surprising Richmond with over 450,000 supporters have a significant edge in support over the Giants with 190,000.

“Looking to the future both clubs have a significant support base under 35 years of age comprising nearly a third of support for both clubs however Richmond’s core supporter base is aged 50+ years old (48%) and drawn from Richmond’s last era of success in the 1970s.

“The best way to build support is through on-field success and both clubs have been regular finalists in recent years. Richmond has played in 6/7 finals’ series since 2013 and GWS Giants are the only club in the AFL to win a final in each of the past four years’.

“Another important way to attract new supporters is by engaging with new demographics that may not have been exposed to the game before. The entry of Richmond into the AFL Women’s competition in 2020 means both clubs will be fielding teams in the fourth season of a growing AFLW competition set to be contested by 14 clubs for the first time.

“In addition to increasing their engagement with women Richmond has also been successful at attracting migrants to jump on the Tigers’ bandwagon. A quarter of Richmond’s supporter base were not born in Australia, a much higher percentage than their rivals from GWS (14%).

“Roy Morgan’s extensive data on AFL supporters, including the supporters of all 18 AFL clubs, is derived from in-depth face-to-face interviews with over 50,000 Australians per year in their homes and provides a level of detail not available from any other source.

“Club CEOs need Roy Morgan data to better understand their supporters so they can attract the right sponsors. Advertisers and broadcasters need to use Roy Morgan data to gain a qualitative and quantitative understanding of what drives the 7.45 million Australians who follow an AFL club and how to ‘tap into’ Australia’s most important sporting market.”

View our range of AFL Supporter Profiles.

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About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%