Brisbane Broncos again won the annual Roy Morgan NRL supporter ladder with 1.09 million supporters (up 6.5 per cent on a year ago) ahead of a surging Melbourne Storm which increased its support by an impressive 26.7 per cent to 1.05 million supporters.

The increase in support for the Melbourne Storm came after the southern club won their third NRL title in 2017 with an easy 34-6 victory over the third most supported club the North Queensland Cowboys. North Queensland won their first NRL title in 2015 and this year increased their support by 5.1 per cent to 640,000 in 2018.

The most well supported club in the Sydney heartland of Rugby League is the Wests Tigers who increased their support by 4 per cent to 419,000 and are now just ahead of the Parramatta Eels with 411,000 supporters. The enduring support for the Parramatta Eels is despite this year’s ‘Wooden Spooners’ having the longest Premiership drought of any NRL club stretching back to 1986.

Overall seven NRL clubs increased their support in the year to June 2018 including the four most recent NRL Premiers the Melbourne Storm, Cronulla Sharks, North Queensland Cowboys and South Sydney Rabbitohs. Melbourne, Cronulla and South Sydney are all still in the hunt for this year’s Premiership.

NRL Club Supporter Ladder 2018

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia, July 2016 – June 2017, n=14,544 and July 2017 – June 2018, n=14,836. Base: Australians 14+. *New Zealand Warriors support only includes Australian-based supporters.

Canberra Raiders & Parramatta Eels fans most likely to plan on buying new car

Roy Morgan is able to analyse the demographic makeup and intentions of NRL supporters across a vast array of important indicators – including the likelihood supporters of different clubs have of wanting to buy a new car in the next four years.

A significant 19.9% of supporters of the Canberra Raiders plan on buying a new vehicle in the next four years clearly higher than for supporters of the other 15 NRL clubs and well above the Australian figure of 11.9%.

However, there are supporters of several other clubs that have significantly higher intentions of buying cars in the next four years than the average Australian. These clubs include the Parramatta Eels (17.2%), Melbourne Storm and Sydney Roosters (both 16.9%) and New Zealand Warriors (16.1%).

Intention to purchase a new car within the next four years – Top 8

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia, July 2017 – June 2018, n=14,836. Base: Australians 14+.

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan, says it is Premierships that bring in new supporters as the last four NRL Premiers all increased their support this year:

“The two most successful NRL clubs the Brisbane Broncos (3 Premierships in 1998, 2000 & 2006) and the Melbourne Storm (3 Premierships in 1999, 2012 & 2017) are once again the two most widely supported NRL clubs in 2018.

“The Brisbane Broncos with 1.09 million supporters (up 6.5 per cent on a year ago) and the Melbourne Storm with 1.05 million supporters (up 26.7 per cent following last year’s Premiership) are the second and third most widely supported football clubs in Australia behind only the Sydney Swans in the AFL (1.17 million supporters).

“The North Queensland Cowboys, who this year farewelled their favourite son Johnathan Thurston, are the third most supported club with 640,000 supporters following last year’s Grand Final appearance and a first NRL Premiership in 2015.

“Other clubs to increase their support this year include the 2014 NRL Premiers the South Sydney Rabbitohs and their Grand Final opponents that night the Canterbury Bulldogs along with 2016 NRL Premiers the Cronulla Sharks. Both South Sydney and Cronulla are again performing well in 2018 and are in with a chance of another Premiership.

“Although supporters of both the Canberra Raiders and Parramatta Eels have missed out on NRL finals action in 2018 analysis of Roy Morgan’s NRL club supporter demographics shows that these club supporters are the best to target if you’re an automotive company looking to increase sales.

“Nearly 20% of Canberra Raiders supporters and over 17% of Parramatta Eels supporters plan on buying a new car in the next four years – indicating these sets are far more likely than the average Australian (11.9%) to be in the market for a new car over the next few years.”