Who Is A Fan Of The World Cup? The Answer Might Surprise You.

They tend to be healthy, vegan, and animal lovers, a new report suggests.

What do you envision when you think of a World Cup fan?

If you’re like me, it’s a tan, fit guy yelling at the television in almost any language besides English. But according to a new report by DMP Lotame, we’re not entirely off.

The newly compiled data — which is drawn from thousands of permission-based online behaviors from a staggering 86 million identified soccer fans — showed that more than half (56%) of soccer fans who make up the World Cup audience are male.

The most surprising part? The report found that World Cup fans are also much more health-conscious than your average person (or sports fan, for that matter).

Fans are a staggering eight times more likely to be vegan or vegetarian and six times more likely to be focused on a healthy lifestyle and wellness in other ways, such as meal planning and eating fresh, organic food.

Also surprising is the fact that more than two-thirds (67%) of the World Cup audience does not appear to have children, though they are seven times more likely to have a companion animal at home. Lest you think all this must mean World Cup fans are simply younger, the age breakdown is actually pretty evenly split.

So, what gives?

Erin Kwiatkowski, a World Cup fan and soccer player for almost 30 years, has a few theories. She fits the average fan profile, save for the fact that she’s a woman — she’s vegan, health-conscious, and child-free, and she has a companion animal at home.

Kwiatkowski believes World Cup fans are more concerned with nutrition because many are players themselves, which means they have to be in better-than-average shape for the running-heavy sport. She’s also not surprised that World Cup fans are eight times more likely to be vegetarian.

“Quite a few of the friends I’ve made through this sport, both men and women, eat plant-based,” Kwiatkowski, who works as the global vegetarian support manager at, tells GOOD.

The health benefits of eating plant-based for athletes may indeed be the driving factor. A growing roster of professional soccer players are going plant-based, including Jermain Defoe, Hector Bellerin, Fabian Delph, Meghan Klingenberg, Sebastián Pérez, and Alex Morgan. Many other players, including Jack Wilshere, Chris Smalling, Baggio Husidic, Sergio Agüero, and Russell Martin, are vocal about eating mostly plant-based.

Jordan Moncrief, another lifelong fan and soccer player who’s vegan, tells GOOD he’s not surprised by the survey either — especially the popularity of plant-based eating.

Lean muscle and quick recovery are two of the major benefits to my game since adopting a vegan diet,” he says. “Being conscious of my food has gifted a balance to my game that at 31 that I didn’t think I’d see. As more and more professional athletes turn plant-based, the more and more fans will be exposed to it.”

Kwiatkowski, who’s also queer, thinks the global nature of soccer keeps it progressive and more open to new ideas. She’s often found fans to be more pro-LGBTQ, citing evidence like Orlando City’s new stadium to commemorate those lost in the Pulse Nightclub shooting and fan displays (“Tifo”) during Pride Month. To her, it makes sense that “this tendency toward social justice and compassion extends to pigs, chickens, and cows as well, with so many fans eating plant-based diets.”

It may also be that the sport’s global bent keeps its fans healthier, even if they’re only watching games on TV. Kwiatkowski points out: “Many Americans follow leagues that play in significantly different time zones. It’s common for hundreds of people to meet at 7 a.m. on a Sunday morning to watch their team.”

That means not everyone watching the game is drinking at a bar.

As to why more of those fans aren’t women, that stat should continue to shift. Women’s soccer fandom is on the rise, with women composing roughly 40% of worldwide television audiences for the 2014 men’s World Cup.

“There is a stereotype that women who attend matches are either soccer moms or wives and girlfriends of the real fans,” Kwiatkowski says. “We exist. As with all things, representation matters. To all the women at the soccer bars this month, surrounded by men, watching men’s World Cup games, I see you!”

Screenshot via (left) Wikimedia Commons (right)

Greta Thunberg has been dubbed the "Joan of Arc of climate change" for good reason. The 16-year-old activist embodies the courage and conviction of the unlikely underdog heroine, as well as the seemingly innate ability to lead a movement.

Thunberg has dedicated her young life to waking up the world to the climate crisis we face and cutting the crap that gets in the way of fixing it. Her speeches are a unique blend of calm rationality and no-holds-barred bluntness. She speaks truth to power, dispassionately and unflinchingly, and it is glorious.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
Ottawa Humane Society / Flickr

The Trump Administration won't be remembered for being kind to animals.

In 2018, it launched a new effort to reinstate cruel hunting practices in Alaska that had been outlawed under Obama. Hunters will be able to shoot hibernating bear cubs, murder wolf and coyote cubs while in their dens, and use dogs to hunt black bears.

Efforts to end animal cruelty by the USDA have been curtailed as well. In 2016, under the Obama Administration, the USDA issued 4,944 animal welfare citations, in two years the numbers dropped to just 1,716.

Keep Reading Show less

The disappearance of 40-year-old mortgage broker William Earl Moldt remained a mystery for 22 years because the technology used to find him hadn't been developed yet.

Moldt was reported missing on November 8, 1997. He had left a nightclub around 11 p.m. where he had been drinking. He wasn't known as a heavy drinker and witnesses at the bar said he didn't seem intoxicated when he left.

Keep Reading Show less
via Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube and The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube

A controversial editorial on America's obesity epidemic and healthcare by comedian Bill Maher on his HBO show "Real Time" inspired a thoughtful, and funny, response by James Cordon. It also made for a great debate about healthcare that Americans are avoiding.

At the end of the September 6th episode of "Real Time, " Maher turned to the camera for his usual editorial and discussed how obesity is a huge part of the healthcare debate that no one is having.

"At Next Thursday's debate, one of the candidates has to say, 'The problem with our healthcare system is Americans eat shit and too much of it.' All the candidates will mention their health plans but no one will bring up the key factor: the citizens don't lift a finger to help," Maher said sternly.

Keep Reading Show less
via Gage Skidmore

The common stereotypes about liberals and conservatives are that liberals are bleeding hearts and conservatives are cold-hearted.

It makes sense, conservatives want limited government and to cut social programs that help the more vulnerable members of society. Whereas liberals don't mind paying a few more dollars in taxes to help the unfortunate.

A recent study out of Belgium scientifically supports the notion that people who scored lower on emotional ability tests tend to have right-wing and racist views.

Keep Reading Show less