One in three Brits will avoid watching this summer’s sporting events

A poll, of 2,000 adults, found 15% are ‘very uninterested’ in football, tennis or athletics on the telly. And 69% are already looking for different things to do while their friends and family are glued to the sport on screen. With 16% planning to escape sports fever on big match days, and meet up with like-minded friends to be entertained elsewhere.

Although more than one in 10 (13%) admit they will probably get caught up in all the excitement and watch some events, as their FOMO – fear of missing out – kicks in.

Nicole Whelan, from Häagen-Dazs, which commissioned the research and is hosting sport-free events across the UK to offer alternative entertainment during the summer of sport, said: “It’s undeniable, 2024 is shaping up to be a sport-soaked summer. But we know that’s not everyone’s flavour.

“As the stadiums fill and pubs pack with passionate fanatics, we want to let you escape it all and enjoy ice cream – celebrating scoops, not scores.”

The study found 15% of adults have pretended to be into a sport so they could fit in with friends or colleagues. And 28% have actually picked up a genuine love for a sport because someone in their life was interested.

However, for those committed sport-avoiders, 33% are looking forward to the shops being less crowded when big events are on the TV. And 31% will be able to get a bit of time to themselves, when friends and family are cheering on athletes instead.

Just over a tenth (13%) will also take the opportunity, when everyone else is busy, to get a gym session in when it’s likely to be quiet.

One in five adults would rather wash their hair than tune into sports this summer, while 16% would opt for mowing the lawn. And more than one in 10 (11%) would sooner clean out the bins than check in on the sporting action, according to the figures.

People looking for summer activities will find them at the Häagen-Dazs Flavour Club, coming to Manchester, London and Edinburgh from June to August, offering free alternative entertainment to the summer of sports.

Nicole Whelan, from the ice cream brand, added: “Sport is incredible, but you’d be surprised how many people are looking for something different – and luckily this summertime there’s a whole world of non-sporting activity to enjoy.

“At our events we’ve got everything from DJ sets, comedians, bands, lawn games and places to relax and reconnect with friends, (hopefully) soaking in the sun and indulging in your favourite ice cream.”

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