— Published 28 January 2022

Cricket still in the lead

A ritual. Like last year, BCW Sports, the sports department of the international communications agency Burson Cohn & Wolfe, has unveiled its 2021 ranking of international sports federations according to their presence and activity on social networks. It includes all winter and summer Olympic sports bodies, as well as non-Olympic international sports organisations recognised by the IOC. The first finding is that the health crisis has not slowed down the development of the sports movement on social networks, but rather accelerated it. On average, the year 2021 saw international federations register a 36% growth on Instagram and 33% on Facebook. Leading the way is World Athletics, which gained 4 million followers (it has 8.1 million), an increase of 101% in just one year. Another trend is that the so-called traditional international federations are doing much better than the newly created bodies. The former have many more fans on social networks than the latter, which are still lagging behind the movement in terms of digital presence. Finally, the BCW Sports study reveals that the international federations of summer sports have a greater presence on the web than their counterparts in winter disciplines. The latter do not appear in any of the top 10 rankings. Despite last year’s Tokyo Games, three of the international federations in the top 10 do not belong to the Olympic movement. The International Cricket Council (ICC) retained its number one position (over 79 million subscribers), with a growth of 35%. It is ahead of FIFA (41 082 790) and FIBA (13 909 368) in the top three. The other two non-Olympic bodies ranked in the top 10 are the International Teqball Federation (7th with over 6 million followers), and the International Cheer Union (cheerleading), placed 10th with 3.3 million followers on social networks.