What would be of the world without sports? Honestly, that is a question I would not like to have to think about. Sports, be it practicing them or being a fan of professional sporting athletes, teams, events and even betting picks platforms have become an essential part of our day-to-day living and with ample reasons. The whole world that lies within the sports industry is full of emotions, thrills, satisfaction, and many other feelings and experiences. This is why ever since the practice of sports came into our lives as humans, we have not looked back for an instant and our love for them continues to grow day by day.
But of course, with so many people living in the world and so many cultures sharing their experiences and customs daily, it’s only logical that there are some sports that reign supreme above others when it comes to levels of popularity. This is why we bring you our list of the four most popular sporting disciplines in the world right now.
When it comes to talking about sports and fandom, no other can compare to football or soccer as it’s known in the United States and Canada. This game, which is played all over the world, holds the biggest base of fans and professional practitioners around the world, with over 250 million professional players scattered all over the world practicing their beloved sport daily. FIFA, which is the ruling governing body over professional football in the world can brag about having the world’s most important sporting tournament, next to the Olympic games with its official World Cup Tournament that happens every four years in a different part of the world.
It has been counted that around 3,5 billion people around the world follow all the actions that this sport brings, especially since because of its popularity games are happening daily all over the world without regard to weather conditions or other factors that could affect the practice. With practically half of the population in the world following the sport, it’s no wonder why football is considered as the “King of sports”.
If there was ever any sporting discipline that could give football a run for their money when it comes to amassing the biggest amount of fans around the world, then cricket would probably be the only worthy contender. The funny thing about cricket is that while football is considered a global phenomenon, cricket is mainly based on a very specific demographic niche. While it might not be as popular of a sport in some of the world’s most important markets such as America or Europe, it’s the most popular sport in India, which automatically gives it an enormous, gigantic advantage over other disciplines around the world.
When it comes to actual numbers of fans, cricket holds its ground respectably with around 2,5 to 3 billion fans around the world. With India at the top of the list of places where cricket is the main sporting option, this sport also holds a very strong liking in countries such as Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa, England, Australia, Bangladesh, and the West Indies. It has been estimated that around 2,5 billion people have tuned in on their preferred viewing devices to watch the action from the Cricket World Cup Tournament finals.
You might not even be that much of a sports fan but you’ve probably heard the names of athletes like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James. What do they all have in common? They’re all professional basketball athletes that have made a name for themselves by being some of the most important and followed athletes in the world’s most important and followed professional basketball league in the world, the US’s National Basketball Association, or NBA.
With massive popularity that spreads around the world, professional basketball amasses about 2 to 2,5 billion followers worldwide who all mostly follow the action that the NBA offers when its season is underway. Europe, Asia, and Latin America have also become strong territories where the sport of basketball has continuously flourished and become one of the most popular sporting options around, after football.
While for some people understanding the idea that Esports or professional video gaming has become such a popular activity is a concept that’s hard to grasp, that hasn’t stopped the pro-gaming industry from becoming one of the most important and strongest up and coming disciplines within the sports world. Given that due to the Covid-19 pandemic in which the vast majority of sporting events and leagues around the world had to come to a stop, the Esports industry didn’t stop, especially since all of their action is done online or in the world of video games.
This new sporting discipline has continued to amass more and more followers worldwide with its popularity levels in places such as Asia, America, and Europe already leading it to become one of the most important and sought after activities when it comes to fan appreciation and revenue grossing, and from the looks of it, Esports are nowhere close from being done with their growth spur, putting other mainstream sporting disciplines to rush to find a way to not lose their spots amongst the sports popularity lists around the world.