Most loved sports teams
Keen to know the score on which sports team is the most loved? Look no further than fútbol. No stranger to things 5-a-side, our data shows that football teams dominate the top 5 spots. Interestingly, ice hockey, athletics and netball are not far behind - as they’ve beaten out the competition to the top 15.
Did someone say girl power? Women's only netball team, Team Bath Netball, has, quite literally, scored a back of the net result as one of the most loved sports teams in the UK. Sure to take their bat and ball home - we have cricket teams bringing in the rear, with Yorkshire and Hampshire Cricket coming in at the bottom with 39th and 40th place. With the likes of netball and athletics storming ahead, it's clear that cricket won't be crowned at a sports popularity contest any time soon. Bowled.
See below for a full breakdown.
most loved sports teams
Most loved sports
Now, for the result we've all been waiting for. Into hockey sobre hielo? A real lover of rugby league or rowing? We’ve studied the number of love reactions per sport on social media to understand which sport is the most loved.
Firing into first place is football with an average of 1,070,863 loves on social media, followed closely by rugby league with a mighty 25,089 loves. Bringing in the rear is, shockingly, athletics.
Sure, they have the most engaged fans, but they're stuck at the bottom of the most loved sports pile. So, sports teams who stay off the track and keep their eyes on the ball seem to get the most love!
Most engaged fans
Is there a sport you can't live without? Are you glued to every game? From fans showing support in the stadium to sharng the love on social media, we've analysed the percentage of the stadium or ground filled at tournaments vesus engagement rates on Instagram to determine which sport has the most engaged fans. You may be surprised to see who triumphs...
Grab your Arsenal kit and camisetas de fútbol to show some support for your favorite team - they need it! That's right, football favorites such as Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea have controversially fallen short. They feature at the bottom of the top 40 list. Though the stadiums may be full, the fans don't seem to take the enthusiasm home with them.
Far from the well-publicised football teams that you might expect, taking the top three spots are athletic teams across the UK. Some of the more out-there sports have the most dedicated fan base. Though it may be the least loved sport, there's no doubt that athletic fans are devoted.
data table
Most loved sports people
The industry can bring all sports of personalities to the playing field. From beloved basketball stars to tresured tennis champions, the world is full of outstanding sports figure heads. Fancy finding out who is a cut above the rest?
Here are the 10 most loved sports personalities according to global search interest and love reactions online. Take a look below and get the scoop - you might be surprised at who takes the top spot...
most loved sports people
Stealing the hearts of the people by a large margin is American basketball player, Lebron James, with global search volumes of over 7 million. Controversially, tennis superstar Naomi Osaka, American soccer player Alex Morgan and Olympic gymnast Simone Biles were the only females to feature in the top 10 list.
Clinical Psychologist Dr Jo Gee, with expertise in behaviour and personality, shares her views on why these stars have become so popular.
"When we dig deep into the attraction of the world's most loved sports stars, we often find that personality type underpins their likeability.
Further what sets them apart, might be considered their display of 'real' emotion, with authentic body language allowing people to relate to tangible examples of real life, something which audiences value even more over the last few years."
We guess you could say that putting your heart and soul into your sport can be a real game-changer.
Methodology
To reveal ‘The UK’s Most Loved Sports Teams’, we used a seedlist article to identify 8 different sports that are team games and have teams/leagues associated with them (Football, Cricket, Athletics, Rugby League, Rugby Union, Rowing, Ice Hockey, Netball). The top 5 teams were selected for each sport to create a master list of 40 teams to analyse. For each team we found a number of metrics: brand sentiment metrics, social followings, online social mentions, Instagram engagement rate, percentage of stadium capacity in 2019 (to consider COVID-19 limitations), and merchandise searches online. The different metrics were then given an index score on a scale of 1-10 according to proportionality. "10" is the highest score and "1" is the lowest, all other figures in between are assigned proportionally to take into account large differences in data. Each of these scores were then combined into a single average used to rank the sports teams from most to least loved. Where data wasn't available, a figure of '0' has been used. For the 'Most Loved Sports People' section, we looked at lists of sports people [1] [2] [3] [4] that have been shortlisted for awards over the last year 2020/21 to give us a list of 37. We then gathered data on search volume and brand sentiment to determine who is the 'most loved'. Tools used include: Buzzsumo, Mangools Keyword Finder, Google. Full data and sources available on request.