Various sports are played and followed throughout the world. Whether these are played professionally, as part of exercise or fitness regimens, or simply as hobbies or recreational pastimes, these physical events have no doubt developed a strong following across the globe.
While there are numerous sports in the world, it cannot be denied that there’s one sport that stands out above the rest. Although people coming from different parts of the world may say otherwise, it’s safe to say that statistics do not lie.
In this article, we’ll be discussing the most popular sport in the world and how it has drastically changed the society we live in today. Ready to know more about this game? Take a look.
The Most Popular Sport in the World – Football
Football, otherwise referred to as soccer in American terms, is the most popular sport around the globe and the number of players and fans of this game continues to rise over the years.
In a study conducted by Nielsen in the 2018 World Football Report, results show that football has garnered a worldwide audience.
As a matter of fact, regions and continents that have expressed a growing interest in this game include the likes of the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Based on the study, approximately 19 countries have shown their support and interest in football.
Besides being played as a professional sport, many fans and people around the globe follow this game via their television and computer screens. Players of this game have even amassed a huge following on their respective social media accounts, surpassing celebrities coming from different industries.
Besides the world’s most played and most-watched sports of all time, football is also recognized as one of the world’s richest industries. Around 400 million players in 208 countries take part in this game.
History of Football
Football or soccer has earnest English roots, hailing from Britain in the 19th century. While there have been studies that ‘folk football’ has emerged even before the medieval period, the sport’s more refined counterpart only increased in popularity around the 1840s, with rules only being formalized in 1863.
Despite meetings upon meetings, the existing members of the Football Association in Great Britain agreed only agreed to a uniformed system of conduct by 1877.
The rise of this sport came from alleviating the demands of industrialization and modernization. As people turned away from their rustic and pastoral pastimes, they shifted their view towards a more collective and communal activity that allowed them to socialize with their peers.
Football’s viewership in England started from 4,600 in 1888 to 23,100 during the onset of the First World War. Thanks to its growing popularity, the sport was eventually included in the 1908 Olympics, and later on, joining the Summer Games.
Under the continued guidance of the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), football grew exponentially in terms of viewership as well as membership and sponsorship aspects. The most popular sport’s premier tournament is the World Cup.
Today, among the most renowned and highest-paid soccer players in the world are Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, and Paul Pogba. Meanwhile, the clubs and organizations that have a high level of the fan base are Manchester United, FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Liverpool, and many more.
The Economics of Football
Besides its extensive viewership and patronage, much of the economics of this game comes from broadcasting rights and sponsorship.
In fact, in 2018, Business Insider states that clubs who participate in various games and competitions tend to earn 50% of their total income from signing their television and radio rights alone.
Meanwhile, sponsorships account for 20% to 30% of a club’s total income. These can come from shirt sponsorships to media deals.
Rights and sponsorships aren’t the only ones that can be sold. Matchday revenue also factors in the total generating income, followed only by merchandise sales and non-sporting income by respective clubs. Even players can be sold to bigger leagues, with the powerful commanding a higher price tag.
These factors alone make football one of the most lucrative industries in the globe.
The Bottom Line
From this, it can be said that football certainly has come a long way from its humble beginnings hundreds of years ago. Besides the impact the game has had in numerous countries, it has also paved the way for a continued love of the most popular sport thanks to the community it has created.