BLOG | by YouGov Sport
Global popularity of the NFL
Ahead of its 2022/23 season, we take a peek at the global reach of NFL and the Buzz it is generating in various key markets.
Globally, a fifth of consumers say they are either somewhat interested in the NFL or that it is one of their top interests. This data is extracted from YouGov Global Fan Profiles, which continuously collects consumer data on sports and esports across more than 40 markets. In this piece we focus on six diverse markets – the US, Canada, Mexico, Britain, Germany, UAE, and Australia.
In its home market, the NFL is the most popular league, with two-fifths of Americans indicating that they are somewhat interested in the tournament or that it is one of their top interests (38%). The league is also hugely popular in America’s northern neighbour, with three in ten Canadians also indicating a substantial interest in the league (28%).
To the US’s south, a third of Mexicans say they are interested in the NFL (33%), which might be an indication that NFL’s efforts to grow a fanbase in the nation are paying off. Between 2016-2019, Mexico City played host to an NFL regular season game each year and is slated to host another one in the coming season.
In Britain, where the NFL competes for interest with a host of other homegrown sports, a tenth of consumers say they are somewhat interested in the league or that it is one of their top interests (9%). Over the years, London has routinely played host to NFL international series matches, which pull in big attendance figures.
The NFL is now set to bring the International Series to Germany in a bid to build a larger fanbase in Europe’s largest economy. Tickets for the first ever regular season match in the country were reportedly sold out within minutes. Our data shows that a tenth of Germans are interested in the league (10%), including 4% who say it is one of their top interests.
Elsewhere, one in seven Australians (15%) and three in ten UAE residents (29%) also indicate an interest in the NFL.
Through YouGov SportsIndex, we can also gain an insight into current sentiment about an event or league. Looking at the Buzz score metric in the three weeks leading to September 1, we find that there is positive traction for the league in most markets.
The upswing is most noticeable among consumers in North America, particularly in Mexico, where scores have risen from 7.7 on August 8 to 13.4 on September 1. In Canada, the Buzz meter has ticked on from 5.4 to 8.4, while scores have jumped three points in the US from 8.3 to 11.3.
UK, Germany, Australia, and UAE have also logged improvements in Buzz for the NFL, albeit smaller ones.
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Methodology: YouGov Global Fan Profiles, which includes data from 51 markets, is based on continuously collected data from several sources, rather than from a single limited questionnaire.
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