Forward Passing Passions

Americans’ passion for sports will be on display this Super Bowl Sunday as families around the country gather around screens of all kinds to watch the Seahawks take on the Pats. These family viewing sessions go a long way towards developing the next generation of sports fans. 

Not just on Super Bowl Sunday but throughout the year, Millennial dads are significantly more likely than Millennial moms to share their love of sports with their children by co-viewing authentic sports programming on networks such as ESPN, ESPN2, Fox Sports 1 and NFL Network. While Millennial moms are more apt than GenY dads to co-view networks that feature child-focused programming with characters they and their children know and love such as Disney Jr., Nick Jr. and PBS Kids. 

Family co-viewing of television content is not the only leisure-time activity where Millennial parents’ gender impacted the interests they shared with their children. For example, when it comes to video gaming with kids, significant differences were evident in the behaviors of Millennial moms when compared to Millennial dads—not only in terms of their actual game play but in terms of their purchase behavior for new games. 



Millennial dads who grew up on Nintendo, Sega, Xbox and PlayStation are sharing their love of gaming by playing with their kids. When they play console video games with their children Millennial dads report significantly higher levels of engagement that do Millennial moms who game. Further, there is a different level of urgency on the path to purchase for these young dads. They are four times as likely as moms from the same cohort to purchase new video games on release day (12% vs. 3%) or pre-order a specific title to ensure the acquisition of a hot, new game (22% vs 6%). Millennial moms on the other hand are twice as likely as their generational male counterparts to put off the purchase of a new game until a special occasion rolls around (22% vs. 11%) or wait to try and buy the game used (17% vs.9%). 

These modern moms also tend to set different limits when it comes to granting permission for their children to play certain games. Less than half of Gen Y gamer moms permit their children under 12 years old to play “T-rated games” while more than two-thirds (68%) of Millennial dads who game think those T-rated games are all right for their preteens.

As marketers focus increasing attention on the growing economic clout of Millennials, an in-depth understanding of the family dynamics in Millennial-led households is critically important. Appreciating what motivates their consumer behaviors can allow brands to impact key inflection points on the purchase journey and better connect with these valuable customers, both male and female.

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