When it comes to disc golf brand awareness, Innova remains king. While Dynamic Discs and Latitude 64 have taken great strides to increase their popularity and reputation, far more disc golfers are aware of Innova than any other brand.
This graph shows a break down of the overall awareness of brands included in the survey by combining all categories other than the “not aware of”.
While more disc golfers are aware of the long established “Discraft Brand” when it comes to “regularly follow”, Dynamic Discs and Latitude 64 rank higher. Westside Discs ranks #8 for brand awareness, but #5 for “regularly follow.”
It’s interesting to see that while the gap isn’t very big in awareness between the companies, when it comes to “regularly follow” there is a large gap between Innova and everybody else. Discmania, MVP, and Prodigy who rank 6th – 8th were only “regularly followed” by about 15% of the surveyed disc golfers.
At Infinite Discs we are able to get a good feeling for which brands are favorable by what sells. It’s also interesting to see which brands people find favorable based on a survey. The results are pretty similar and not surprisingly, Innova is the most favorite brand according to the 2017 State of Disc Golf Survey. The graph between “Favorite Brands” and “Regularly Follow are pretty similar.
It’s interesting to note that the trend over the last few years made it appear as if Dynamic Discs and the Trilogy brand might overtake Innova as most popular, but 2016 saw a significant step back from the up and comers. Through 2017, we are seeing a trend with Innova widening the gap.
I Bag ‘Em
While 75% of those surveyed include Innova among their favorite brands, the number of players that throw at least one Innova Disc is even higher! 83% of surveyed disc golfers carry at least one Innova Disc in their bag. This is 24% higher than second place Discraft where 59% of surveyed disc golfers bag their discs.
An interesting relationship occurs here between “bagged discs” and popularity in that Discraft doesn’t rank nearly as high in terms as popularity as the Trilogy Brands, yet a higher percentage of disc golfers actually throw their discs. This could say something about the quality of Discraft discs and the relationship to their limited marketing efforts.
Limited to an Exclusive Manufacturer
Likely a result of Innova’s dominance in terms of recognition and the number of people that own their discs, when the question “If you could throw discs made by only one manufacturer?” was asked, nearly half (45.5%) of survey respondents said they would choose Innova. One third (32.6%) chose the Swedish manufactured trilogy discs. Only a very small percentage of disc golfers said they would choose any other manufacturer if they had to exclusively throw only that brands discs. Discraft came in third at 7.8% followed by MVP at 6.5% and Prodigy in a distant fifth at 2.7%.
As disc golfers, most of us watch professional disc golf. 85.6% of those surveyed said that they watched professional disc golf at least once in 2016. The preferred method of watching professional disc golf is after production YouTube videos where nearly 94% of those who “watched professional disc golf” participated.
About two thirds of those who watched professional disc golf spent time watching live videos (30.8% less than post production). 46% followed live scoring during tournaments, 70% watched instructional videos or clinics, and 28% attended a tournament where they watched the pros live.
Favorite Professional Disc Golfers
71.4% of those surveyed follow professional disc golfers. At Infinite Discs, we regularly see the impact of professional disc golfers as their “signature discs” regularly outperform sales of ordinary stock discs.
Among those that follow Professional Disc Golfers, Paul McBeth, Ricky Wysocki, Nate Sexton, and Simon Lizotte were the favorites of 2016.
Disc Golf Podcasts
Many disc golfers get their disc golf news and pro information by listening to podcasts. 28.9% of those surveyed said that they listened to at least one disc golf podcast. The most popular disc golf podcast according to respondents is Smashboxx.TV (71%) with the Disc Golf Answer Man (64.1%) close behind. Inside the Circle was the only additional Podcast that at least 20% of Podcast Listeners had tuned into at least once.
Growth of the Sport
Most of the participants surveyed (78.8%) would like to see disc golf grow and become a mainstream sport. Only 4.5% would like disc golf to stay small while 16.7% have no preference.
The time has come to start taking a look at some of the data from the 2017 State of Disc Golf Survey. The data will be analyzed and shared over the course of the next few months. By way of introduction, let’s break down the demographics of who participated in the survey.
With nearly 10,000 disc golf players surveyed, this year provided, by far, the largest pool of individuals that we’ve surveyed since beginning the annual State of Disc Golf survey. That level of participation really helps us to gather some very pertinent information and helps give a realistic snapshot of the disc golf market. However, when looking at results, we do have to realize that people who participate in this kind of survey are people who are passionate enough about the sport to take a few minutes of their time to share their opinions. In our estimation, there are a good number of casual players who do not participate in such surveys. Those more casual players may not be entirely represented in the results.
Male vs Female Survey Participants
Of those surveyed, a whopping 91.8% were male, leaving only 8.2% as female. Does that truly reflect the balance of men vs. women in the game of disc golf? Though it might actually be a fairly accurate representation, we can surmise that simply less women are passionate enough about the game to take a survey (as mentioned above). But it would probably be an accurate statement to say that among passionate disc golfers, only 1 out of every 10 is a woman.
Age of Survey Participants
Looking at the age of those surveyed, we were happy to see a very wide spread. Though the age group that participated the most was the 30-35 demographic with 22.6%, other age groups ranging from 18 all the way through 60 were quite well represented. For those of us inside the disc golf industry, that is a very healthy statistic– to see that passionate players exist within all age groups. There is ground to be gained in the 17-and-lower age group, but that again could be an example of a group of people who are not interested in taking online surveys.
Disc Golfers Married vs Single
The majority of those who took the survey are married, with just more than half, at 56.2%. Single came in at 37.2%, and the widowed / divorced / separated group came in at 6.6%. By the way, as of 2015, roughly 55% of all Americans over the age of 18 were married, so the players surveyed fall pretty much within the national average.
The Employment Status of Those Surveyed
When looking at the employment status of those surveyed, the vast majority are employed for wages, with a few being self-employed. There is a sizable group of students that took the survey, but thankfully, not too many are unemployed or unable to work.
So, why do we ask these basic questions in a disc golf survey? Though things like gender, age, marriage status, and employment be only be marginally interesting statistics on their own, we use this data help determine other factors which are more pertinent to the growth of the disc golf scene. For example, it might be interesting to see how marital status factors into disc golf practice time. Do married players get less putting practice and field work? Do single players play in more tournaments? Does the job situation or marriage situation factor into the amount that players spend on disc golf? Does the age factor into tournament participation or willingness to travel for the game? Once we start looking at some of the more interesting survey data, and then break it into categories based on these introductory questions, it becomes even more revealing. That is the kind of data we’ll start looking at in future weekly State of Disc Golf 2017 blog posts, so stay tuned!