DUBAI: FIFA dominated YouGov’s 2023 Global Sport Rankings in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, with the FIFA World Cup leading the table with a score of 54.6 in the former and 61.2 in the latter.
YouGov’s SportsIndex measures the public’s perception of sports brands on a daily basis across a range of metrics.
The polling firm’s 2023 Global Sport Rankings are based on buzz scores, which measure whether respondents have recently heard something positive or negative about a brand.
The FIFA Club World Cup came in second after the Qatar World Cup with a score of 34.4 in Saudi Arabia and 40.3 in the UAE.
In Saudi Arabia, the first domestic event featured in the list was the Saudi Professional League with a score of 27.4, ranking third. The buzz around legendary footballer Cristiano Ronaldo joining Al-Nassr is likely to have added to the excitement of fans who are expecting the star to reclaim the title from incumbent league winners Al-Hilal.
Closely following the SPL was another domestic event, Kings Cup, the Saudi Arabian football knockout cup competition, which ranked fourth (24.7). The only non-football event featured in the top five was Formula One, in fifth place (22.7).
Saudi Arabia’s annual road-based marathon, Riyadh Marathon, was ranked sixth (21.6), and the Saudi Super Cup came ninth (20.1).
Apart from the top two, other international football competitions that appeared in the top 10 rankings were the UEFA Champions League, which ranked seventh (21.3) and the English Premier League in eighth (20.5).
The recently concluded Saudi Tour rounded off the overall 10 buzziest events (18.5).
In the UAE, football dominated the rankings, with five football events making the top 10 list. Along with the top two events, the UEFA Champions League, the English Premier League and La Liga also appeared in the list in third (24.9), seventh (22.8) and ninth (18.8) place, respectively.
Cricket-based sporting events also made their mark on the list with the ICC Cricket World Cup ranking fourth (24) and the ICC World Twenty20 taking sixth place (23.6).
Formula One was the only non-football or non-cricket event in the top five, coming in fifth (24).
The Dubai Marathon and UAE Tour, the only domestic events to feature in the list, completed the rankings in eighth (19.8) and tenth (16.3), respectively.