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Though often lumped into one category, Generation Z and Millennials continue to differentiate themselves from one another.

Nielsen has released new research regarding specific behavioral nuances of the younger demographic, highlighting its tendency to be more drawn to social and celebrity endorsements, as opposed to a brand’s name or heritage.

Having matured during the rise of the wellness movement, Nielsen pointed that Generation Z individuals are more likely to be active themselves. “This generation is also more likely to play basketball and soccer, but running, swimming and biking are this group’s most popular sports activities,” a Nielsen spokesman said. Running and swimming were the top sports Generation Z-ers tended to try — both sports secured 46 percent participation.

Surprisingly, soccer did not register higher participation. Only 16 percent of Gen Z-ers joined a soccer team; 11 percent of Millennials did the same. Generation Z might not be kicking the soccer ball themselves — the demographic is 48 percent more likely than the general population to be interested in Major League Soccer.

For both demographics, it’s also crucial to consider the social communities devised around wellness and professional sport players’ social accounts that invoke engagement. According to the research, 29 percent of Generation Z said a celebrity endorsement might influence their choice to purchase an item — 27 percent of Millennials shared that sentiment, compared to 21 percent of the general population.

To align with the demographic, sportswear and athleticwear brands should consider a wider range of celebrity endorsements to correlate with the most popular sports in order to secure higher loyalty rates — and revenue.

What’s more, Nielsen’s latest research found that unlike Millennials, who value nostalgia and niche communities catered to specific brands, Generation Z individuals are more likely to be drawn to brands that partner with celebrities and social influencers. “Gen Z is 59 percent more likely than the general population to connect with brands through social networking sites,” the spokesman said.

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