Work, Wedding, Graduation: 8 in 10 Ditched THESE Occasions to Watch Sports! 

Sports fans are known for being passionate and devoted, but in some cases, the obsession can result in some pretty questionable life decisions such as a dodgy tattoo of their club’s crest or spending hours on end in sub-zero temperatures to prove their devotion to their team.

With this in mind, sought to find how far passionate sporting fans would go to follow the exploits of their team or athlete.

To get the results, surveyed 3,070 sports-mad fans, asking them if they’ve ever missed a commitment to watch sports and, if so, what type of occasions they ditched in the name of their favourite team or athlete. 

The Results:
The study revealed that 86% of sports fans had missed a noteworthy appointment or commitment to watch sports at least once! 

The types of events people have missed to watch sports:
WORK (84%)
Work comes in first place, with an average of 84% of respondents admitting they have skived a day off to watch their team or sports idol perform. It seems a job isn’t enough to dissuade employees from pulling a sickie!

Graham, 38

„I’m a big footy and rugby fan, and on a few occasions, I pulled a sickie at work to watch my team play. On one of these occasions, I accidentally met a colleague at a match! This made me realise that I’m not the only one who misses work to watch sport.”


It seems that the priorities of sports fans are clear – and it doesn’t always involve their partners! 78% of the respondents admitted to missing relationship or wedding anniversaries to feed their sports addiction, ranking it second on the list.  

James, 54

„I was so obsessed with following the last World Cup (2018) that I went out with my friends all day and forgot about my 4th wedding anniversary. I don’t feel guilty about it as the World Cup happens once every 4 years, but since then, my wife is always afraid that I’ll forget it again.”


In third place comes family events, with 73% of sports lovers confessing they had missed a family event like their auntie’s birthday or their sister’s graduation to support their team or athlete. 

Would they do it again? 

When asked how they felt after missing important occasions to watch sports, 92% confessed that they didn’t feel any guilt and would do it again, compared to 8% of respondents who were more repentant about their sports enforced absenteeism.

What type of sporting occasion are fans most devoted to?

In first place are the football competitions (88%), with respondents confessing that the FIFA World Cup and the Champions League are the main competitions they would miss a social event for. No wonder why an average of 180 million watches the Champions League final each year, and the Premier League last season reached 1.03billion homes around the world. 

Slightly behind are the Olympic Games. On average, 79% of the respondents admitted they had missed an event or arrangement to watch the biggest international sports festival. 

The least notable sport that fans would miss an occasion to watch is the NBA (12%). Although being popular in some European countries such as Greece and Lithuania, most sports-mad people don’t feel like missing an occasion to watch basketball competitions



  • To achieve the results, surveyed 3,070 sports-mad, asking them if they’ve ever missed a commitment in order to watch sports and, if so, what type of occasions they jettisoned in the name of their favourite team or athlete and how guilty they felt about it.
  • The number of viewers of the Premier League was taken from Statista published on 01/07/2020. The Champions League viewing figures were taken from Top Media Advertising


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