Fans are the soul of sport. Without them, sports don’t exist. That’s why it was such unsettling news when we discovered that global sports fans feel a growing disconnect from professional sports. The good news is that you don’t need to feel unsettled – the insights here provide you with the means to create new connections and opportunities for your brand and fans. There is no single clear path to success. Despite the doors that globalization and sponsorships have opened, fans increasingly feel ambivalence toward brands in sports events. They demand value and genuine social connection, and they’ve set a very high bar – but with innovative thinking and a competitive spirit, the potential to exceed that bar exists for brand managers who are strategic, bold and informed. In our Momentum Worldwide quantitative and qualitative survey from 2,000 sports fans in the US, UK, Brazil, Spain, and Japan, over a third said that sports are the most important thing in their life. And while roughly half of fans agree that sponsors have sports’ best interest at heart, 83% accepted the statement: “Sponsors never consider the fans.” So, there are new promises to be fulfilled. 88% of fans believe that sponsors can create new opportunities for their favorite sports and teams. 86% would not object to seeing even more sponsorship in sports. The potential to engage those communities is larger than ever before – as are the risks of getting it wrong. The brands that get it right will be those who seek to understand the hearts and minds of sports fans and then find ways to create genuine value for them. They’ll be the brands that understand changing attitudes toward athletes, the costs of being a fan, and how fans define themselves – and they will fully realize the power of the live experience and the changes burgeoning in the souls of millennials. These are your answers, here in our findings. We know… Sports Fans.