Most Popular Spectator Sport Across the World

Over the years, football has grown into much more than just a game. The sport has gained a high level of popularity as a spectator event. Football has the largest television audience across the world. Teams compete against each other, generally in a tournament-style competition, with qualifiers and several rounds. Played in large stadiums, these matches draw hundreds and thousands of loyal fans and supporters.

Advertisers use on-site, as well as digital and multimedia advertising to promote various brands, as football invites a wide, varied audience. Since matches are also broadcasted live, people across the world gather in public spaces to watch matches. This can commonly be observed in sports bars, pubs, restaurants, and cafés. Fans can often be seen celebrating out on the streets and in the city centre, when a local team wins.


One of the most universally well-known and important tournaments is the FIFA World Cup. It takes places once every four years. In fact, the World Cup draws even more viewership and a larger audience than the Olympic Games. It is the most prestigious association and tournament within football. In the World Cup, after a long qualifying process, successful national teams compete against each other. In fact, countries make bids and proposals to host the FIFA World Cup. The tournament brings in a significant amount of publicity, investors and advertisement revenue to the host country. Most importantly, the FIFA World Cup brings fans in large crowds from across the world, boosting tourism. The national teams of the host country or countries also automatically qualify for the World Cup.

FIFA is the most popular competition played at the World level. Another variation of the World Cup is the FIFA Confederation Cup, wherein host countries, World Cup winners and the most successful confederations play against each other. The FIFA Women’s World Cup also occurs every four years, featuring women’s teams from various countries.

American Football

Sometimes known as gridiron, this form of football has a cult following in the United States, and across the world. The National Football League (NFL) is the most popular football league in the US, as proved by the importance of the annual SuperBowl. A yearly championship game, the Superbowl is the most widely-watched game in North America. It is particularly known in pop culture for the halftime show which features various popstars and musicians. The advertisements that run during the SuperBowl also gain viral popularity, due to its wide viewership. Advertisers, therefore, usually pay millions of dollars for less than thirty seconds of airtime. Several highly successful campaigns have been run for regular consumer goods, such as

Australian Football

Football played by Aussie rules or the well-loved footy, as it is known, is the most popular spectator sport in Australia. It has the largest audience and draws the widest viewership of any sport. It is regulated by the Australian Football League (AFL). During football season, various matches are hosted across Australia, largely supported by local fans. Australian football is played at an amateur level in several countries outside Australasia. The popularity of the sport led to its choice as the “native” sport to be demonstrated during the 1956 Summer Olympics hosted in Melbourne.

There are, therefore, different tournaments across the world for different types of football. However, they have a few things in common – dedicated fans and crowds that fill stadiums with their cheers!