The World’s 9 Most-Played Sports in 2023

Which sport is the most well-liked around the globe?

Sports have been an agent of societal and economic transformation, serving a purpose beyond mere diversion.

Sporting events that draw large crowds earn a lot of money, contributing to economic growth in some of the world’s most developed economies.

Statista predicts that by 2020, professional sports in the United States will produce $83.1 billion in revenue, significantly impacting the shape of the economy in the twenty-first century.

Different sports exist, and here we show the eleven most popular sports globally in 2023.

We ranked them on several metrics that accurately reflect their popularity among their target demographics, such as their global TV viewership, online presence (as measured by social media and search engine results), gender parity, sponsorship and endorsement deals, and primary population region.

Top 1: Soccer


Worldwide, the United States and Canada have roughly 4 billion supporters of association football or soccer.

Two teams battle it out on a roughly rectangular pitch and features goals on opposite ends.

Both teams will dribble the ball to beat the other’s goalkeeper when attempting to score.

More than 270 million people worldwide (particularly in Europe, South and Central America, and Africa) participate in the sport, and it is also the most widely viewed sporting event worldwide.

Over 3.5 billion people worldwide tuned in to witness the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the sport’s most prestigious championship.

The UEFA Champions League, English Premier League, and Spanish La Liga are just a few big football tournaments that attract massive online audiences.

Women’s football receives a fair share of coverage in the media alongside its male counterpart.

This sport consistently receives a great deal of coverage in the mainstream media. Even several gambling sites like offer live streams to players and bettors for them to bet on.

Top 2: Cricket


Cricket, like soccer, has a global fan base in the billions. It is a beautiful sport that is especially popular in Australia, India, Pakistan, South Africa, and New Zealand.

An estimated 2.6 billion people watched the 2019 Cricket World Cup, the most-watched sporting event in the world.

Women’s cricket has grown in popularity recently, even while the male-dominated version of the sport continues to dominate media coverage.

There are a lot of endorsement arrangements in cricket, particularly with bat manufacturers.

Top 3: Hockey


Hockey, both on ice and on the field, is among the most popular sports worldwide.

It’s no surprise that ice hockey is a popular sport in Northern Europe, the US, and Canada.

About 2 billion worldwide watch hockey regularly, most notably National Hockey League (NHL) games.

Companies like Gatorade, Reebok, and others are eager to establish sponsorship deals with the male and female hockey league’s teams.

Top 4: Tennis


Tennis, a sport that requires a lot of stamina and strength, frequently features shocking upsets despite its seemingly even physical difficulty.

One billion tennis fans worldwide have been thrilled by the development of fresh stars in recent years.

Brands like Audemars Piguet, Rolex, and TAG Heuer have noticed the popularity of tennis in recent years because of the increased exposure it has received from the media.

Endorsement and sponsorship arrangements for tennis players can earn six figures from these companies.

Top 5: Volleyball


Volleyball, a popular sport with an estimated 900 million fans worldwide, is especially well-liked in the Western Hemisphere, including the Americas, Europe, Australia, and Asia.

Volleyball is quickly rising to the ranks of today’s most popular sports, with participants of both sexes.

Popular sporting goods stores like Mikasa and Dick’s Sporting Goods sponsor volleyball tournaments.

Top 6: Table Tennis

Table Tennis

The number of people interested in table tennis, also known as ping pong, has risen to 875 million since 2003.

The game was created in early twentieth-century England.

Even though table tennis events don’t get nearly as much attention as other major sports tournaments, it nevertheless has a respectable global following on social media.

Table tennis is widely played worldwide but is incredibly well-liked in Asia, Europe, the Americas, and Africa.

Brands such as Autohome and Sports Master regularly sponsor international table tennis competitions.

Top 7: Basketball


James Naismith, an American and Canadian educator, is credited with inventing basketball, a popular sport in every continent except Antarctica.

Played by two teams at once, basketball is a high-tempo, exciting sport.

Currently, basketball is one of the most discussed sports on the globe.

This sport’s women’s leagues also receive extensive coverage in media outlets around the globe.

Basketball fans know that great athletes can command endorsement deals for millions of dollars.

Such endorsement deals can occasionally go beyond a player’s playing days, as in the cases of Michael Jordan and LeBron James’s Nike sneakers.

Top 8: Baseball


In addition to being a popular pastime in the United States, baseball is widely followed in the East Asian and Caribbean regions.

There are around 500 million avid Major League Baseball (MLB) fans worldwide.

When it comes to gender parity, men athletes have a huge advantage.

Many well-known companies, including Mastercard, Chevrolet, and Papa John’s, choose to advertise their products in baseball.

Top 9: Rugby

As a result of its popularity and the fact that both sexes can play it, rugby has the potential to reach 10 million participants globally.

Regarding physical contact, rugby and American football are very similar.

Conversely, American football players wear numerous protection items, including helmets and pads, whereas rugby players wear almost little.

With new records being set and shocking results being recorded, the recently concluded Rugby World Cup in Japan has attracted much online attention.

Because of its status as rugby’s premier competition, the tournament draws not just the sport’s most illustrious players but also major sponsors willing to invest substantial sums.

Support from major companies like MasterCard, Heineken, Emirates, DHL, and Toshiba, sponsoring the 2019 Rugby World Cup, is crucial to the sport’s growth and development.

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