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FC Barcelona Ranks As The Top Sports Team On Social Media

I cover sports business with rare dip in education & local economies

The National Football League is the richest sports league in the world with 27 NFL teams.

The NFL’s 32 teams have a combined 141 million followers on social media across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The tally lags Spanish soccer powerhouses Barcelona and Real Madrid, who on their own command 148 million and 146 million followers respectively. Real’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Barca’s Lionel Messi have the two biggest individual followings in sports with 215 million and 131 million as of last month.

A big following on social media is not everything though for sports teams. It is important to have an engaged audience to help expand the team’s brand and ultimately to monetize that audience. To see which sports teams were doing the best job on social media, we turned to Hookit, which tracks sponsorship value in social and digital media.


Hookit examined the social media accounts of the teams in every major sports league to gauge followings, interactions (likes, shares, comments or retweets) and “earned media value.” The media value is based on sponsored promotions via hashtags and mentions and not image recognition. “Total follower numbers can be impressive, but the engagement is what drives the value coupled with the quality of ‘promoted’ posts,” says Hookit co-founder Scott Tilton.

We combined the ranks of teams in these three categories to determine the top sports teams on social media below. The stats cover June 2015 through June 2016. Soccer dominates the action with 11 of the top 20 teams. Barcelona ranked first in all three categories.

1. Barcelona


Followers: 145 million

Interactions: 1.45 billion

Media value: $25.3 million

2. Real Madrid

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Followers: 141 million

Interactions: 601 million

Media value: $17.2 million

3. Manchester United

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Followers: 88.4 million

Interactions: 522 million

Media value: $12.1 million

4. Arsenal

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Followers: 50.6 million

Interactions: 239 million

Media value: $9.2 million

5. Chelsea

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Followers: 59.5 million

Interactions: 181 million

Media value: $6.1 million

6. Bayern Munich

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Followers: 46.8 million

Interactions: 204 million

Media value: $2.5 million

7. Los Angeles Lakers

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Followers: 29.4 million

Interactions: 106 million

Media value: $11 million

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8. Golden State Warriors

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Followers: 13.6 million

Interactions: 293 million

Media value: $3.3 million

9. Manchester City

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Followers: 27.5 million

Interactions: 107 million

Media value: $5.8 million

10. Cleveland Cavaliers

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Followers: 9.5 million

Interactions: 102 million

Media value: $12.5 million

11. Juventus

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Followers: 30.3 million

Interactions: 156 million

Media value: $2 million

12. Liverpool

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Followers: 37.3 million

Interactions: 146 million

Media value: $1.6 million

13. New England Patriots

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Followers: 10.9 million

Interactions: 88.4 million

Media value: $4.3 million

14. Borussia Dortmund

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Followers: 18.8 million

Interactions: 91.4 million

Media value: $1.9 million

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15. Paris Saint-Germain

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Followers: 32.7 million

Interactions: 67.2 million

Media value: $1.3 million

16. Denver Broncos

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Followers: 7.3 million

Interactions: 84.5 million

Media value: $2.3 million

17. Dallas Cowboys

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Followers: 11.7 million

Interactions: 61.1 million

Media value: $2.5 million

18. San Antonio Spurs

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Followers: 9.3 million

Interactions: 80.3 million

Media value: $1.7 million

19. Carolina Panthers

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Followers: 5.1 million

Interactions: 80.3 million

Media value: $1.7 million

20. Seattle Seahawks

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Followers: 7 million

Interactions: 66.7 million

Media value: $2.7 million