MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Tennis is the most popular sport among Australian women, a new Nielsen FanLinks survey has revealed ahead of the country's Grand Slam, but lags behind the indigenous football code and cricket in the overall population.
The survey showed Australian Rules Football is the number one sport in Australia with over 46% of those asked expressing an interest in it, 3% more than cricket in second place.
Tennis comes in third on 41% ahead of swimming, rugby league, soccer, basketball, athletics, Formula One and cycling. Rugby union interested only around a fifth of those surveyed despite the Wallabies national team having won two World Cups.
Among women, however, tennis tops the rankings on 42% with only Australian Rules and swimming attracting the interest of more than a third of those surveyed.
"With the Australian Open tennis tournament getting underway next week, marketers seeking to up their games with females would be well served to take note of this fact," said Marco Nazzari, Managing Director, International at Nielsen Sports.
The Australian Open starts on Monday with reduced attendance of 30,000 fans a day at Melbourne Park, around 50% lower than usual because of health protocols.
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Peter Rutherford)