Sport is not only about competition in the field, or between teams and players in order to win a game or a race. It’s more than that. It’s also about money. Lot of money if we are talking about major sports. But wich one makes the most money?
The Economist collected the financial data about how much money the most popular sports in the world generates. And the conclusion is simple as this: Football (the European football, of course) is the king of sports. By far. Even the competition in the sport’s industry is increasingly fierce.
Last year, the so-called Beautiful game generated about 42 billion dollars. That’s more the double of money that American football made in 2018, roughly 20 billion dollars, according to Economist. This means that, altought the National Football League (NFL) might be one the richest league in the world, the popularity of football is global, and since more fans represents more money, that fact has a huge impact in terms of revenue.
Baseball and basketball are other two sports with strong revenues, but both have a long path to walk if they want to be the king of the industry. Baseball made almost 15 billion dollars last year, while basketball’s revenues were about 10 billion dollars.
Although Ice hockey, Cricket and Rugby union are also popular sports, they are far away from the popularity of Football. Ice hockey has strong expression in US, Canada and Europe, but it can’t shine in major markets in Asia (Japan could be an exception) or South America. Ice Hockey made about 6 billion dollars last year.
For Cricket and Rugby union, the task to capture fans attention and money is dantesc as both sports will have to broaden their influence around the world.