The League Index was developed as a means to benchmark top flight domestic leagues across key metrics, ensuring that stakeholders can contextualize performance and opportunity across the sports industry.
NFL remains the number one league globally offering its sponsors a strong cross-generational base of fans, longevity, well-balanced competitiveness and strong economic background. Premier League improves its rank representing its growing commercial power for investors despite the pandemic. MLB falls out of top three with the pandemic cancelling its global games and shortening its 2020 season.
Football’s dominance continues to expand. Nine football competitions are from Europe with the majority of their 2019-2020 seasons unaffected by the pandemic, thus ensuring uninterrupted exposure to sports fans. Top European football leagues are also joined by football leagues from the US, Argentina, Mexico, and new entrant to this year’s top 20 - Japan.
Exposure to live audiences remains an important feature for a league’s commercial potential. With varying season schedules and pandemic situations across the world, some league exposure to live audiences and viewers at home was affected more than the others determining different reach for sponsors. Despite the pandemic, the majority of top leagues across different continents were able to play in front of some fans, albeit often in accordance with capacity restrictions.
As attention shifts online and traditional revenue streams are threatened, a comprehensive digital presence is essential to ensure a sports property’s reach to sports fans and growing value proposition for sponsors. Leagues that have vast social media following, such as La Liga, Premier League and NBA, rank high in the index.
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