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Volume 7 No. 149
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Aussie Fans More Inclined To Root For Women's Teams, Study Shows

Australian sport supporters have the "strongest emotional connection" with their national women’s teams, with new research showing they fill the top four spots in a new survey, "while frustrated cricket fans" voted the men’s test team "all the way down in 62nd and last place," according to Adrian Proszenko of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The Australian women’s rugby sevens team took the top spot in the 2018 Benchmark Report, for which a total of 4,299 men and women were surveyed as part of the study by True North Research to "gauge the emotional connection fans have with their teams." Based on a number of indices -- including respect, brand, pride, enjoyment and trust -- the Pearls beat the Australian women’s football team, the Matildas, for the "top spot." It "continues the public's love affair with the Pearls" after they claimed the Gold Medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics. The Australian netball team, the Diamonds, came third ahead of Australia's "consistently successful" female national basketball side, the Opals. The highest-ranked men's national team is the rugby league Kangaroos, ahead of the Boomers and Socceroos. True North Research Dir Georgie Maynard said, "Once you are familiar with a women's team, then you are invested in it and become an advocate for it and strongly emotionally connected." The research "paints a bleak picture" for some of Australia’s national men’s sporting teams and how they are perceived by the public. The Wallabies came in 16th. Perhaps "surprisingly," National Rugby League side Melbourne Storm "came out on top" out of all the football codes in terms of emotional connection, beating even the Australian Football League franchises in Victoria (SMH, 11/27).