ISL 2017/18: Kerala Blasters and ATK feature in list of world's top 100 clubs with most social media following
I-League side East Bengal also enjoys a high social media following and is ahead of seven ISL clubs!
What's the story?
Rich Clarke, a popular sports digital and social media consultant, published a report earlier this week on the 179 football clubs across the globe who have over a million followers on social media.
The figures have revealed that there are two ISL clubs in the world's top 100 list in the form of the Kerala Blasters, who are ranked 66th with a following of 3.7 million and ATK, who are 97th and have a following of 2.2 million.
In case you didn't know...
The report states that there were only 148 clubs across the globe with a following of over a million until July 2017 but now that number has gone up to 179.
The heart of the matter
It praises the Indian clubs and their social media standing, despite the ISL just being in its fourth season so far. After the Kerala Blasters and ATK, in third place is Chennaiyin FC with a following of 1.8 million and a rank of 117 in the world.
I-League giants Mohun Bagan and East Bengal failed to get into the Top 100 but interestingly, the latter has a better social media following than seven other ISL clubs. East Bengal are in 127th place overall, with a combined 1.6 million followers.
On the global front, FC Barcelona edges out Real Madrid at the top and both of them enjoy a major chunk of the social media pie. In the top 10, PSG and Manchester City have also made huge gains in fan following on social media.
Both the Indian leagues - the ISL and I-League are currently underway and approaching the halfway mark in the season.
It is quite heartening to see Indian clubs finishing above MLS, South American and even European clubs, despite the sport not being a primary one. Here's hoping it continues to engage audiences and grow in stature in the times ahead!