How Football Brings Families Closer Together

Blog header - How Does Football Connect Families Closer Together
24.08.2021 research

Football is the world’s most popular ball game – and it’s a powerful sport to bring families closer together! The most recent global census undertaken by FIFA suggested that 265 million people across the world play football. In addition, it’s known that nearly half of the world’s population follow and watch the World Cup​​, the biggest football competition. Football is a sport that can be enjoyed by many generations together, from children playing in the garden to grandparents watching from their armchairs.

Understanding football’s potential to connect families and generations enables retailers to embrace the power of football in marketing campaigns and strategy. So, let’s discover why families love football and how it brings families closer together!


Why do families love football?

People of all ages love football because it’s fun and it can be played anywhere. It’s one of the most accessible sports, being playable with just a ball and two goalposts – which can be made with cones, trees, or even just sweaters. This means that football can be enjoyed by anyone, rich or poor, in all corners of the world.

Like all sports, football gets kids active and outside. Many children have a lot of energy to burn, so games and sports that involve running and jumping provide a structured and fun outlet for all this energy. From the perspective of parents, football is a healthy and safe way for kids to burn off energy and – hopefully – tire themselves out by bedtime.

As one of the most popular sports in the world, many of us grow up watching and enjoying football with our siblings, parents, and grandparents. Childhood memories of enjoying football matches together: sharing triumphs and losses become cherished, and we seek to recreate these special memories again with our own children.


Why should we encourage kids to play football?

Football provides a structured and fun outlet for kids’ energy, and it’s also a relatively safe sport with an average injury rate among young players of 1.7 per 1,000 players, which makes it safer than both basketball and American football (Source: American Journal of Sports Medicine, 2007).

But football isn’t just a fun and safe way to burn off excess energy and learn healthy habits that children can grow with. It also teaches kids a number of important lessons and skills that they can carry through to other parts of their life and education, including:

  • Resilience
  • Self-discipline
  • Teamwork
  • Sportsmanship
  • Communication

Footballers have to work together as a team, communicating clearly and putting the needs of the team ahead of themselves. This builds collaborative and teamwork skills, as well as encouraging children to think about the ‘big picture’. Taking part in competitions – and learning how to win and lose with grace – also builds resilience and good sportsmanship.

Excelling at football also takes hard work. Don’t be fooled: even those footballers born with natural talent have to practice for hours every day to play at the top of their game. Attending practice regularly and working hard to achieve successful results are transferable skills that can aid children in educational and personal pursuits, and following in the footsteps of their favorite footballers gives kids positive role models too.


Does football connect families together?

Whether you are watching it or playing it, football is something that everyone can enjoy. The basic rules of the game are easy to follow, even for the youngest children. And there’s always room for spectators, old and young. From the early days of “Look at this goal, Dad!” to attending school football games and having the whole family come and watch, football connects families.

There’s also no better time to get families interested in football than after big events, such as the European Championship, the World Cup, or even the Olympics and Paralympics. Figures show that, after popular international football events, global interest in playing and practicing football goes up. YouTube data confirms that, after the 2014 World Cup, there was a 6x increase in watch time for videos of football drills and skills.

And, for all the reasons we’ve looked at above, when it comes to football, parents are happy to engage with their kids in marketing campaigns and activities that stimulate sports. In fact, parents feel thankful that their kids are showing an interest in physical activity and excited to see their child’s first foray into a team sport, proving the popularity of football with families.


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