New report from Stagwell’s National Research Group (STGW) reveals that ‘brands’ drive the fan ecosystem

NRG Releases The Power of Brand Fandom: 5 Things to Know Right Now White Paper

NEW YORK, October 31, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Research by Stagwell’s (NASDAQ: STGW) National Research Group (NRG), a global leader in providing insights at the intersection of technology, content and culture, shows that more people are fans of brands, products and services are how they love sports and celebrities. NRG unveiled its Brand Fandom research focus at Advertising Week and launched a series that will unveil the journey to fandom across key categories and audiences. The research will explore the pathways for brands to successfully build and activate a fan community and understand the modern fan ecosystem.

NRG’s brand fandom surfaced in myriad ways this month:

  • Brands fandom white paper: In a new report, “The Power of Brand Fandom: 5 Things to Know Right Now,” research suggests that brand influence is more important than other commonly associated areas of interest: Consumers are bigger fans of a brand or product (57%) than by celebrities (54%), movies (52%), sports (48%) or online influencers/personalities (37%). Some other key themes from the paper are:
    • Age is only a number: Brand fandom is strong across all age groups, debunking conventional assumptions that Gen Z and Millennials have a fleeting sense of brand loyalty.
    • Fans don’t exist in a vacuum: 54% “want everyone to know” they’re a fan of a particular brand or product.
    • Brand fans are also sold on potential. Over three quarters (77%) say they will at least try different products from the brand.
  • MediaPost Op-Ed: In a post, Stagwell Global Chief Marketing Officer Ryan Linder and NRG EVP, Brand Strategy and Innovation Fotoulla Damaskos authored an article titled Bigger Than Sports and Celebrity: The Power of Brand Fandom, which examines what brands can expect from the consumers who turn them into fans: not only deep loyalty but advocacy.
  • Promotion week New York: A panel at AWNY which included NRG’s Damaskos and EVP, Head of Sports Marketing Jay Kaufman; Stagwell’s Linder; Christie’s SVP, Marketing Manager Neda Whitney; and Sarah Myles, Director Communications Measurement & Insights at McDonald’s, introduced brand fandom on “Buzz and Devotion: The Fan Economy That Makes Niche Mainstream in Today’s Culture.”

“This first piece of research shows how brand fandom serves as a tool for self-expression, linking brands to consumer identities in complex ways. It should signal to brands that interactions with customers need to be dialogues that foster people’s experiences and create a sense of shared belonging,” said NRG EVP, Brand Strategy & Innovation Fotoulla Damaskos. “Our choices as consumers are now fully visible – we can wield power against the brands that fail us or be passionate about those we believe in. Where these decisions are made can make all the difference between having customers or fans who bring engagement and advocacy and long-term brand growth.”

“The way I move in the world — how I approach the fast-paced work of brand marketing, the even faster-paced world of fatherhood — I’ve done through the lens of authenticity and courage, traits that I stand for in my fandom Harley-Davidson motorcycle culture,” said Stagwell EVP, CMO Ryan Linder. “My identity continues to be bolstered by a kaleidoscope of brands in which I have been personally invested, a testament to the fact that the influence of brands is changing in so many aspects of our life can manifest.”


The data used in this report is from a study of 1,018 US consumers ages 18 to 65 conducted in October 2022 – representative of the national population in terms of age, gender and race.

About the National Research Group

National Research Group is a leading global insights and strategy firm at the intersection of entertainment and technology. Rooted in four decades of industry expertise, the world’s leading marketers turn to us for insights into growth and strategy for any content, anywhere, on any device. Working at the confluence of content, culture and technology, NRG offers insights for bold storytellers around the world. To learn more, please visit and follow us on LinkedIn and Instagram.

About Stagwell

Stagwell is the challenger network created to transform marketing. Delivering scalable creative performance for the world’s most ambitious brands, we combine culture-shaping creativity with cutting-edge technology to balance the art and science of marketing. Our 13,000+ professionals in over 34 countries are led by entrepreneurs with a single goal: to increase effectiveness and improve business outcomes for their clients. Join us at

Media contact:
Sarah Arvizo
[email protected]

SOURCE Stagwell Inc.


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