FIFA World Cup takes the top spot in YouGov Sport’s Global Buzz 2021 Rankings in the UAE, becoming the sports property with the most positive Buzz among residents in the country (32.2).
FIFA Club World Cup follows in the second place, with a Buzz score of 27.7. Although the event was postponed to 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it managed to create buzz among sports enthusiasts and landed a spot in the rankings.
YouGov SportsIndex measures the public’s perception of brands on a daily basis across a range of metrics. The rankings are based on the Buzz score from YouGov’s SportsIndex, which measures whether respondents have heard something positive or negative about a brand recently.
The past year has led to monumental disruption within the global sports and events sector. Nevertheless, even during these unprecedented times, the UAE served as an unparalleled sporting destination.
One of the most popular T20 cricket leagues, The Indian Premier League, took place in the UAE last year. The event created a lot of positive buzz among sports-starved residents, making it the third most popular event of 2020.
Two other cricket events- ICC World Twenty20 and the ICC Cricket World Cup also make an appearance in the list, taking the ninth and tenth position (17.4 each), respectively.
The 2020 Formula 1 Championship that ended in Abu Dhabi secured the fourth position in the top ten rankings (21.9).
The past year looked favourable for sports properties related to football. Major football championships like The English Premier League, UEFA Champions League and LA Liga appeared in the top ten list, at fifth (with a score of 21.7), sixth (19.8) and seventh (19.5), respectively.
Dubai’s obsession with health and fitness led the Dubai Marathon to land a place in the top ten rankings- at eighth (18.1).
Of those properties which were held in the UAE, it’s the Indian Premier League which comes out on top with a score of 22.0 points. As we mentioned earlier, the event moved temporarily to the UAE in 2020 to avoid Covid restrictions and it looks like even if the move disappointed many Indians, it created plenty of noise in the UAE.
Dubai-based events then make up the next three highest properties. The Dubai Marathon, Dubai World Cup (equestrianism) and the Dubai Tennis Championships all make a splash with their annual events.
There is little to separate them from the Arabian Gulf League, the UAE’s premier domestic football competition. The League, which along with the Arabian Gulf Cup, represents the highlight of the country’s soccer scene sees off competition from the highly-regarded AFC Champions League.