All sports fans believe that their favorite team or favorite player has the most passionate fanbases. And even though it’s difficult to put a measure on passion, in reality, that just can’t be true for everyone.
And while every fanbase is different, these five teams have supporters that have something in common: loyalty, along with the numbers to back it up.
So while these are only five out of the many incredible fanbases around the world, they are definitely some of the most popular.
While all Formula 1 teams have many of their fans, and though Ferrari’s fans, the Tifosi, are among the most passionate in the sport, Max Verstappen’s fans are something else. And their presence at F1 races has grown in popularity.
Ever since Dutch Formula 1 driver Max Verstappen started driving for Red Bull, his fans have been following him everywhere. And we mean everywhere.
No matter what Grand Prix it is, you’ll always find a bunch of fans dressed in bright orange. In fact, if you watch F1, you’ve most likely seen a sea of orange in the grandstands more than once. And though it would be easy to mistake them for McLaren fans, more often than not, they’re part of Verstappen’s Orange Army.
In fact, the Orange Army can take up to 10,000 seats in one race alone, often more than any other fanbase for one driver alone.
Orange is the national color of the Netherlands, where Verstappen is from. And if you notice, no other driver has represented a color so distinctly as he does. Not to mention that last year, an F1 survey put Max as the most popular driver among fans.
The Dallas Cowboys
If you look up “most popular sports franchises in the world”, the Dallas Cowboys always comes up. That’s because, for years, they have been one of the biggest teams, not just in the NFL, but in the world. And some might say that it’s because of sheer passion.
The Cowboys may have won five NFL Championships and been to Super Bowl eight times. But, their last appearance was in 1995 and their last win was in 1972. And through the years, they’ve had many ups and downs as a team.
But through it all, their fans have stayed consistent. In fact, currently, the team has an average of over 93,000 fans in attendance at their games. And based on ESPN’s list, no other team averages more than 80,000. Historically, they even had a streak of 160 sold-out regular and post-season games.
They are also the team with the most followers on social media, and globally, are recorded to have over eight million fans. So while they may not have the most Super Bowl wins, they do have some of the most committed fans in the world.
The Chicago Bulls
Next up, we have the Chicago Bulls.
Similar to the Cowboys, the Bulls have not seen any major recent successes in comparison to other teams. Their last trip to the finals was in 1998, which was also their last NBA championship. And although they’ve seen dips in attendance, they do have some of the most loyal fans in the league, no matter where they stand.
From 2010 to 2018, the Bulls consistently had the most fans in attendance of their games, their percentage never going below 90%. And although the numbers may have dipped for the team from 2019 to 2021, last season, they were back on top.
In the 2020 season, the Bulls struggled. They finished 11th in the Eastern Conference and suffered 43 losses. But even so, they had the second-most fans in attendance at their games. And just last season, the team topped the averages with over 20,800 fans per game.
Even without a stellar record, and without any major breakthroughs, the support for the team rarely wanes.
The Los Angeles Dodgers
While the New York Yankees are arguably the most popular baseball team in the world, the Los Angeles Dodgers have an incredible fanbase. And they may be recent champions, but their fans’ support has been consistent beyond that.
Similar to the Chicago Bulls fans, Dodgers supporters are always in the stands. Since 2013, the Dodgers have seen the most fans in attendance at their games in comparison to any other MLB team. And before their 2020 World Series win, they hadn’t won a title since 1988.
In addition to this, from their last title to 2012, the Dodgers have only failed to bring two million fans to their games every season on two occasions. And, in the past 11 years, they surpassed three million at Dodger stadium nine times.
Their fans are committed. It’s no wonder why playing at home for them must feel so good and why they have remained at the top of their division in the ongoing MLB season.
We’ve previously established that European football fans have a passion of a different kind. But, in all of Europe, Manchester United may have the best ones.
Not only is Manchester United the most popular team in England, but they are also the most popular team in the world. Globally, they report having a community of over one billion fans and followers. And no matter how the team performs, the support stays consistent too.
United’s latest Premier League trophy is from 2012. And in the last ten years, the team has struggled in many ways. But even so, from 2009 to 2022, their average attendance per year has only gone below 72,000 twice—the seasons affected by the pandemic.
Apart from their attendance, United fans are also notoriously vocal. If they don’t approve of their manager, are unsatisfied with their players, or unhappy with the ownership, they’ll make it known. And they have.
But it’s all part of the love and the desire to see the team thrive.
Now, we know there are many other teams in the world with incredibly passionate fanbases too. So which ones do you think we missed out on?