Football Dominates as the Top Performing Sport Globally

VILNIUS, LITHUANIA – Global market research company Euromonitor International launched today new data and analysis tracking global sport leagues.

As part of the launch, Euromonitor International introduced the Global League Attractiveness Index, an indicator designed by Euromonitor International research experts measuring the popularity of domestic sports leagues. The index analyses a range of key metrics directly and indirectly influencing league performance and index positions, from physical and digital fanbase behavior to broader economic context.

The Global League Attractiveness Index highlights football as the most prominent global sport. Besides the Premier League, Bundesliga, Major League Soccer (MLS) and La Liga also claim spots in the top 10 leagues with nine football leagues listed in the top 20, making football the world’s most popular sport.

Index results show North America as the global a powerhouse in domestic league performance, securing four of the top five places in the index with the National Football League (NFL) on top, outpacing runner ups including the National Basketball Association (NBA), Major League Baseball (MLB) and the National Hockey League (NHL).

Alan Rownan, sports industry manager at Euromonitor International comments, “Legacy sports leagues in the US and Canada, such as the NFL, claim the top spots in the Global League Attractiveness Index with popularity sustained annually by the Super Bowl, drawing in millions of fans globally. The dominance of North American juggernauts isn’t to be ignored, nor is the performance of the Premier League in European football, however we do not expect the index results to remain static as we update it annually.”

The top 10 leagues according to Euromonitor International’s Global League Attractiveness Index are:

  1. National Football League (NFL)
  2. National Basketball Association (NBA)
  3. Major League Baseball (MLB)
  4. Premier League
  5. National Hockey League (NHL)
  6. Bundesliga
  7. Major League Soccer (MLS)
  8. La Liga
  9. Nippon Professional Baseball
  10. Top 14

To learn more about the trends impacting the sports landscape, download Euromonitor International’s white paper, “2018 Partnership Trends and Opportunities in Professional Football.”


Ieva Laugalytė

Communications Associate, Euromonitor International

Tel: +370 5 243 1577 EXT 4967


Euromonitor International is the world’s leading provider for global business intelligence and strategic market analysis. We have more than 40 years of experience publishing international market reports, business reference books and online databases on consumer markets.