The global reach of football, or soccer, is unequalled among sports in terms of value to media and sponsors. With the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 upon us, Nielsen offers a snapshot of the vast collection of data and insights surrounding the world’s most popular sport.

A survey of 18 major markets across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia shows the sport garnering powerful interest in more than 40% of the population, well ahead of its nearest rival sports.

For television media, this translates into mega audiences and competitive rights fees. On social media, football’s stars are generating world-beating follower numbers and engagement of some of the biggest celebrities from music, film and other sports.

In the World Football 2018 report, we explore fan behavior, media consumption habits and sponsorship insights from around the world. We also look at how commercial trends are shaping the future of football.

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