WASHINGTON, D.C. — For the first time in Gallup’s 20 years of tracking Americans’ views of various business and industry sectors, farming and agriculture is the clear leader. The former top-ranking industries — restaurants and computers — remain in the top four, with the grocery industry rounding out the group. Meanwhile, the pharmaceutical industry’s image has improved modestly since last year, and it has yielded the “worst rated” distinction back to the federal government.
Look at the big swing in the Sports industry.
The sports industry now has a negative image, on balance, among Americans as a whole, with 30% viewing it positively and 40% negatively, for a -10 net-positive score. This contrasts with the +20 net positive image it enjoyed in 2019, when 45% viewed it positively and 25% negatively.
While it’s not clear how much the various challenges and controversies swirling around the industry are each responsible for its slide in popularity, it is notable that sports has lost more support from Republicans and independents than from Democrats. In fact, Democrats’ view of the sports industry has not changed significantly in the past year, while Republicans’ has slipped from a +11 net-positive score in 2019 to a net -35 today, and independents’ from +26 to -10.
This is particularly troublesome for a non-essential industry that relies on people liking it. For example, if people don’t like the farming industry, what do they care? People will still buy food. But if people don’t like sports, they don’t have to spend a dollar on them.