MANCHESTER UNITED FANS RANK FIRST IN BRITAIN'S BIGGEST FANS LEAGUE
1st Nov 2006
Every year, Britain's dedicated fans travel billions of miles, spend thousands of pounds and endure relationship breakdowns in pursuit of their favourite sports, film stars, musicians, authors, comedians and even politicians.
Most loyal fans spend hours toiling up and down motorways and queuing for tickets. However, the more extreme enthusiasts addicted to the likes of Chelsea FC, Robbie Williams and comedian Jack Dee have broken into hotel rooms, had special tattoos or even moved home to be closer to their heroes.
Research out today reveals which sports teams, musicians, authors, celebrities, stage performers and politicians have the biggest legions of fans in the country. Manchester United followers top the league, followed by Robbie Williams and Liverpool FC.
1. Manchester United
2. Robbie Williams
3. Liverpool Football Club
5. JK Rowling
7. Take That
8. Tottenham Hotspur
9. Stephen King
11. John Grisham
12. Aston Villa
13. Guns N' Roses
14. Green Day
15. Roger Federer
16. Chelsea Football Club
17. Billy Connolly
18. Arctic Monkeys
19. John Le Carre
20. Bolton Wanderers
More than 11 million Brits (32%) of the British adult population class themselves as sports fans, with 77% (eight million adults) specifically following football. Of these football addicts, over a fifth (21%) pledge allegiance to the 1999 European Champions, Manchester United. Sports fans will spend over a £1000 a year on average feeding their obsession and travel almost 1500 miles to see their favourite players in action.
Although Manchester United tops the list of the UK overall biggest fan base, music - rock, pop, country, metal and classical - claims the biggest UK following, with 36% of the population (12 million men and women) regularly going to see their idols at live events and shows.
Authors have the third biggest fan base (17%) followed by celebrities (10%).
Even politicians have a dedicated legion of more than 300,000 people (1% of the adult nation) who admit they travel the country in support of their favourite speaker. In this race, Tony Blair, David Cameron and London Mayor Ken Livingstone match each other on the number of followers.
The Travelodge research found more than one million adults (3%) have been forced into financial debt as a result of their obsession. Tickets, travel fares and accommodation are the three biggest costs for fans.
Sports fans splurge the most money on seeing their heroes in action, spending an average of £126.48 on each occasion the equivalent of over a £1000 a year. This ranks sports fans at the top of the biggest spending fans league:
1. Sports - £1,259.74
2. Celebrities - £902.85
3. Stage show/ performers - £341.00
4. Music - £340.26
5. Authors - £106.51
6. Politician /speaker - £77.20
Brits following stage shows and performers -comedians, magicians - travel the furthest in pursuit of their idols, covering an average of 1,428 miles every year. This puts this group of fans at the top of the most travelled fans league:
1. Stage show /performer - 1,428.57 miles
2. Sport - 1,380.87 miles
3. Politician - 1,142.86 miles
4. Author - 1,019.05 miles
5. Celebrities - 548 miles
6. Music - 364.29 miles
According to Guy Parsons, Travelodges Chief Operating Officer; "Big movie premieres in London like the new Bond film mean our hotels close by will naturally sell out. However, we've seen several interesting booking patterns in the past that prompted us to explore fans' behaviour in closer detail. For example, we had guests travel from all over the world to stay in our hotels around the Milton Keynes Bowl when Robbie Williams played there recently.
"With travel fares and accommodation topping the list of biggest expenses, fans should make the most of ways to reduce that spend. Car share with other people going to a gig or book signing and buy travel tickets far in advance to make the most of early bird fares."
Concerning more extreme behaviour, a small number of fans (0.5%) admit breaking into a star's hotel room and the same number admit rooting through celebrities' bins to find items to treasure. One per cent of UK fans have had a tattoo commemorating their obsession and a further 1% have split up with their partner over their idol.
*Travelodge research conducted by 72 point in **October 2006 among over 1000 UK adults.
The 20 biggest UK fan bases list is created according to the percentage of people in the survey that said they were a fan of that particular organisation/team/person.
For more information, please contact
Travelodge PR Manager
01844 358 624
07841 725 053
As the first budget hotel brand to launch in the UK in 1985, Travelodge currently has approximately 279 hotels across the UK in city centres, near attractions and airports.