Major Sporting Events as Global Platforms

Hi everyone,
As you know, I am a big fan of the Sport+Markt market researches. Recently, Sport+Markt released a survey about the global interest in the 5 largest annual sporting events. Chosen events are Champions League, NBA, La Liga, Premier League and Formula 1. Don’t ask me why the Superball is not in there!

  • The UEFA Champions League is the most global of all annual sporting events, generating consistently high interest across all continents.
  • The Barclays Premier League and its clubs also provide a global advertising platform for sponsors. In worldwide terms, the interest in the English league is consistently very high to high. The USA is the only market where interest is not as strong.
  • La Liga BBVA is in global focus thanks to its two outstanding clubs, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid CF. In contrast to the two other football competitions and Formula 1, interest levels vary more strongly from country to country.
  • The NBA has many fans. However, two thirds of them come from China and the USA (303 million). If these two countries are not observed, the US basketball league generates a comparatively low score as a global event.

Average interest per country in seven regions

UEFA Champions League

  • Almost half of Europeans are interested in the UEFA Champions League. The interest of 43% in Western Europe and 44% in Eastern Europe in football’s top club competition is outstanding.
  • The UEFA Champions League is either ranked 1 or 2 amongst the annual global events in every region apart from Australasia. Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League

  • In many Asian countries (e.g. China), the UEFA Champions League and Barclays Premier League interest more people than the AFC Champions League or the relevant domestic league.
  • In Australia, many people are also interested in football. In addition to the domestic league, the focus here is on the Barclays Premier League (23%). Formula 1

Formula 1

  • Formula 1 even generates higher interest than top class European football in South America.
  • Eastern Europe has a high affinity to motorsport.

La Liga BBVA

  • Interest in La Liga BBVA is consistent around the world. In every region, the Spanish league interests an average of 21-26% of the population per country except Australia.


  • With the exception of America and Australia, the NBA generates the lowest interest per country on average.
  • The NBA„s visits to Europe in recent years have not succeeded in increasing interest levels.
  • In Mexico, interest in the NBA (38%) is higher than in the USA (30%).

Interest in selected events in the USA

  • The USA is a highly enthusiastic sporting nation, interested in a wide range of sports and events
  • The focus of US citizens is primarily on their own traditional sports (American football, baseball), leagues (NBA) or series (motorsport). The Olympic Summer Games is the only event able to infiltrate the top group of events.
  • The USA assumes a unique role regarding global sporting events. In contrast to Autralia or India, for example, where domestic sports or leagues also play a dominant role, Formula 1 and football are minority sports here. 
Source: SPORT+MARKT Sponsoring 21+ 2010 USA Basis: 1,000 representative US respondents aged 16-69 years

Karl Lusbec