Sports is a billion dollar industry and growing rapidly if we take into account combined revenue from all major sports over the last 20-30 years. Sports have been around since the very beginning of human evolution. From simple sprint races and wrestling of the past to more complex and physically demanding sports today, there is no denying sports is a big part of life in almost every human being. Today we take a look at some of the biggest sports events of all major sports usually known as “the world cups”.
Which sports has the biggest world cup or world championship ?
The answer of this questions can be put together simply by figuring out which is the biggest most popular sport in the world. The most popular sports will have the biggest world cup as well. So in this case the unanimous answer is “Football’ FIFA World Cup”. Football being the most popular and most watched sport in the world and that too by quite some margin. So we list some of the biggest tournaments in sports.
#1. FIFA World Cup
It is estimated that over 4 billion people in the world (more then half of population) follow football at some capacity. Football’s dominance over other sports is so obvious that it should not come as a surprise that football is the most popular sport in the world. There are so many big tournament in football around the world specially at club level.
We list down some of the reason’s why FIFA World Cup is the biggest tournament of any sport.
- Highest Prize Money: To give you some context 6 of the top 10 tournaments in sports with highest prize money belong to football. One of them being FIFA World Cup where around $791 million will be distributed among participating nations in 2022 edition which is set to take place in Qatar.
- Worldwide Participation: Almost every nation around the world somehow participate in road to world cup every year. FIFA being the most iconic sport governing body has over 180 federations around the world affiliated to them. World Cup takes place every four years and road to world cup start with early qualifying. teams from 7 different continents play qualifying rounds over 2-3 years time before every world cup and in the end 32 teams qualify for the actual world cup itself.
- Most Watched Sports Event: FIFA World Cup holds the record for the most watched competition in the world. TV viewership numbers in the finals of previous few world cups were staggering which even broke Olympics record. Over 800 million people watched Germany beat Argentina in 2014 FIFA World Cup final. That is the largest audience in a single match ever recorded.
- TV Rights In Over 180 Countries: FIFA has sold TV rights deals across the world in over 160 territories. More then any other competition of any sport.
- Highest Paid Athletes: Some of the highest paid athletes in world sport represent their national teams in FIFA World Cups. Top 15 football nations have players with average salary of over $1.5 million a year that is more then any other sport. However their is also a big disparity in average salary where bottom ranked FIFA team players can barely make minimum wage.
- Most Content On Social Media: When it comes to social media, FIFA World Cup 2018 generated the most content and likes/follows online during one month of the tournament. When Brazil lost against Germany at home back in 2014, twitter which was still in his early years exploded with related hashtags. Similar trends can be seen in 2018 World Cup and we can expect absolute massive world cup related content in 2022’s Qatar tournament.
- Worldwide audience is another factor. Other major sports like Basketball, Cricket and Rugby is dominated by only a few nations. For example Basketball interest is mainly in USA and some European countries. Cricket has its roots in England and Australia while massive following in Indian sub-continent. However when it comes to Football the following is worldwide. It is just as much popular in South America as it is in Europe. While Asia and Africa are other big markets and growing rapidly