BCW Sports, the sports practice of leading global communications agency BCW, today released its 2022 International Sports Federation Social Media Ranking, which aims to capture the social media footprint of international sports federations (IFs).
The International Cricket Council (ICC) led the way on social media, registering a total of 92'211'411 followers across Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and YouTube, representing an impressive 16% increase in followers from last year. The International Football Federation (FIFA) and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) came in at second and third respectively. The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) dropped out of the top 10 and new joiner the International Automobile Federation (FIA) came in at number nine. Volleyball World showed the biggest overall growth in 2022 with a 35% increase in followers across all platforms.
Once again, this year’s ranking includes all IFs from both the Winter and Summer Olympic programmes, as well as all recognized non-Olympic IFs.
Notable key findings this year include:
Consistent growth for IFs across the board: International federations in the top 10 are showing between 10-35% overall growth in their social media numbers with the exception of Teqball which is showing a huge loss, most likely due to shutting down of one of its social channels. While last year we saw that there were a few international federations that enjoyed fairly big jumps (such as the 101% growth of World Athletics), this year following are more stable and consistent across all IFs, but still positive.
Room for growth for sports leaders: While the organisations themselves are growing their social media numbers consistently, the leadership of these organisations are still not very active. For those IF leaders who are using social media – as many aren’t even active on any platforms – the numbers are very low compared to leadership in other industries – such as business, politics and entertainment.
Number one still far ahead: The ICC continues to reign in the ranking as the top overall IF on social media. It is not hard to understand why the ICC is so far ahead – its fan base is huge in markets that are very active on social media. Their enormous presence makes the sport very attractive – and probably a big point of interest for potential partners – not least the Olympics as cricket is being considered as a new Olympic sport.
Lars Haue-Pedersen, BCW Sports Managing Director, said: “Our 2022 IF Ranking once again shows the tangible and measurable outcomes of the investment IFs have made in social media through the actions they are taking online to engage their fans. The next step is for sports leaders to seize the opportunity to speak to their members and fans through these channels. We see the impact social media has for business leaders, now is the time for sports leaders to step up.”
For more information, contact Caroline Anderson, BCW Account Manager, Switzerland, [email protected].
About the Study
First published in 2016, the BCW International Sports Federations Social Media Ranking aims to capture the social media footprint of international sports federations (IFs) and provide insightful takeaways on the trends of social media use within international sport. This year's ranking includes international sports federations, both Olympic (summer and winter) and non-Olympic. The ranking is based on the organisation / corporate accounts of these IFs and their leadership and does not include the various event specific social media accounts. The full methodology can be found within the published report.