10 Most Popular Sports In The World

most popular sports

The excitement, exhilaration, suspense, and thrill all these feelings we feel in our favorite sports but do you know which are the most popular sports in the world? There are many sports in the world, however not every sport is popular. The term popular sports is not quite clear to people. A Popular sport means, the most played, most-watched, and a sport with the highest fans following.

Watching sports is an amazing hobby and it attracts many people around the globe for several reasons. Sports offer real-time world entertainment and excitement that is incomparable to television shows and films. It also helps to escape from daily life stress. A sports team can represent your country or hometown, and it brings pride to the place you come from. 

Watching sports can feel very meaningful and passionate. There are several various sports out there that attract different people from different cultures. So in this article, we will share some of the most popular sports in the world.

Most Popular Sports In The World

Golf – Fan Base: 450 Million

This sport has an estimated fan base of 450 million people worldwide. Golf is the most prevalent sport in Western Europe, East Asia, and North America regions. According to Golf.com, more than 400 million golf shots were played in the US in 2019.  This sport gets worldwide sponsorships from best brands like Cadillac, BMW, Rolex, Nike, Adidas, and many more.

American Football – Fan Base: 475 Million

This sport is also known as the gridiron in the US. It is not only one of the most popular sports, but also most played sports in the world. Football attracts a large number of fans from the US. The super bowl helps in increasing the popularity of this American Football. Super Bowl LIV scored 99 million views in the US alone.

The sport enjoys a good following on social media platforms. American football also receives huge support from big brands like Gatorade, Bud Light, and Verizon. As for 2020, the highest-paid players in the NFL receive  $78 million per annum in salaries.

Rugby – Fan Base: 475 Million

This sport attracts more than 10 million players worldwide. The most well-known tournament in this sport draws the best names in the world of rugby sport, as well as big brands that do significant funds in sponsorship. 

Top brands like Heineken, MasterCard, DHL, Toshiba, and Emirates, who have sponsored the Rugby World Cup 2019, help in gaining the popularity base of this sport. Players also earn a significant amount of cash, with the highest-paid players getting $1.4 million in annual income.

Baseball – Fan Base: 500 Million

Baseball is one of the most played sports. It is especially major league baseball, is the peak of the leagues in the world. It has more than 500 million fans in the world.  In this baseball game, male players dominate this sport.

This sport draws sponsorships from big brands like Chevrolet, Papa John’s, and Mastercard. Moreover, the highest-paid player receives a salary of $38 million per annum.

Basketball – Fan Base: 825 Million

It is a trendy sport in the United States. This sport is one of the most talked-about in the globe at present. Basketball is a sport that is supported by more than 825 million fans in the world. This game also has many worldwide female leagues, which also draws media attention. Top brands are ready to spend millions of dollars on endorsement deals with the best basketball players. The highest-paid players receive a salary of $92 million per annum.

Table Tennis – Fan Base: 875 Million

The table tennis fan has increased by 875 million from 2003. However, this sport event is not as publicized as other sports tournaments. It has a moderate number of social media followers. 

Normal brands such as Sports Master and Autohome sponsors the table tennis tournaments. Although earnings of the table tennis players are not reported, players certainly receive some profitable amounts.

Volleyball – Fan Base: 900 Million

Volleyball draws as much as 900 million fans; this sport receives a great deal of attention on social media. However, it is less broadcasted compared to other high rated sports.

The popularity among both males and females is on the growth in this sport, making it one of the most active emerging games in the current age. Brands like Dick’s Sporting Goods, Mikasa support volleyball events. Best players receive $1 million every season.

Tennis – Fan Base: 1 Billion

Tennis is a very physically and strenuously intensive sport. The rise of new talents in recent years has helped raise the thrill in the competition to the joy of the one billion fans.

This sport is played by both female and male recently and draws great media attention that has caught the eye of top brands like Rolex, TAG Heuer, and Audemars Piguet.

These brands pay tennis top players large sums of money in sponsorship and endorsement deals. The highest-paid players receive a salary of $93 million per annum.

Hockey – Fan Base: 2 Billion

Both field and ice hockey are among the most popular sports in the world. In Canada and the United States, ice hockey gets a good deal of attention. Two billion people follow this sport, particularly the National Hockey League (NHL).

The female and male hockey league also gets considerable attention from top brands like Reebok, Gatorade, and many more. Moreover, the highest-paid hockey player gets $16 million as a salary annually.

Cricket – Fan Base: 2.5 Billion

It is one of the most popular sports with an enormous global range. Cricket is an amazing sport followed by 2.5 billion fans, countries majorly from South Africa, India, Australia, New Zealand, and India.

The major competition in this sport is the Cricket World Cup, it was played in 2019, and 2.5 billion people watched this game. This sport also receives a great number of endorsement deals from many brands. Cricketers also receive huge paychecks, with the highest-paid players getting over $20 million per annum.

Association Football – Fan Base: 4 Billion

Soccer is also known as association football; it is the biggest sport in the world and followed mainly in Europe. The most well-known tournament in soccer is the FIFA World Cup, which was watched by a number of 4 billion fans in 2018.

Apart from that, every major soccer league from English Premier League or La Liga to the UEFA Champions League is widely followed on social media platforms. Top brands such as Qatar Airways, Nike, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Adidas, and Puma, these brands have signed multi-million-dollar deals with the football governing bodies like UEFA and FIFA and top soccer clubs.

The highest-paid players in the world with the top-earning makes about $127 million per annum. 

RankSportEstimated Fan BasePopularity by Regions
1Association football4 billionWorldwide
2Cricket2.5 billionUK, Australia, Africa, America, Asia, Europe 
3Hockey2 billionEurope, Africa,  Asia, Australia
4Tennis1 billionWorldwide
5Volleyball900 millionWorldwide
6Table tennis875 millionWorldwide
7Basketball825 millionWorldwide
8Baseball500 millionAmerica, East Asia, Caribbean
9Rugby, American Football475 millionUK, Africa, Australia,  Asia, Europe, America
10Golf450 millionWestern Europe, East Asia, North America

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Final Words

Popular sports surely differ from country to country. There are plenty more other sports famous in other countries. However, these are the most popular sports worldwide which we have mentioned above, and have millions of fans scattered across the globe. If you find this information useful, drop a comment below this section.