India is the most populated country in the world with more than 1.4 billion people. There are also an estimated 18 million Indian immigrants living in different countries around the world. Because of this, its sports teams and stars enjoy a large following on social media.
But what teams and sports are most popular in the country? Take a look below to discover India’s most followed sports and teams.
The Most Popular Indian Sports
Cricket is by far the most viewed Indian sport, with almost 51% following it. Kabbadi is second on the list and is the national sport, with badminton, tennis, and football making up the rest of the top five.
The Most Followed Indian Cricket Teams
Cricket has the biggest fandom of any sport and its biggest star Virat Kohli is India’s most-followed personality with over 260 million followers. He is followed by Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar who both have over 40 million followers.
Team India, the official Indian Cricket Team Instagram account, has an incredible 30.7 million followers as well.
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are the most-followed Indian cricket team with almost 34 million followers across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The Indian Premier League team is based in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, and was founded just 15 years ago in 2008.
The team is the favorite for this year’s IPL and is priced at around 5/1 at most of the best betting apps according to SBS. Gujaret Titans and Mumbai Indians are next in the betting, with all teams competing having a chance.
Mumbai Indians are another of the favourites for the 2024 IPL title at 6/1, and are the second most followed team, with just over 32 million followers.
The Mumbai team has the joint record for the most IPL titles with CSK with both teams on 5 titles each.
The team is backed by India’s largest conglomerate Reliance Industries’ Indiawin Sports and was the first IPL franchise to have a brand value to exceed US$1 million.
Royal Challengers Bangalore is the third most followed team with around 27 million followers across their social media platforms despite never having won the IPL.
The team is home to megastar Virat Kohli and despite having fewer followers than CSK and MI, RCB boasts a higher number of social media interactions. This team is also quite well-fancied this season with bookmakers, at around 7/1.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders have over 25 million followers and are bolstered in their popularity by the success of their Bollywood actor owners Shah Rukh Khan and Juhi Chawla.
The team has won two IPL titles and also the league’s record for the longest winning streak with 14 games.
The team has a current valuation that exceeds $1 billion and is only behind MI and CSK on that front.
There is a bit of a drop to fifth place with Punjab Kings having almost 15 million followers across their social media channels. In comparison to the top four, this might not seem like much but it would be an impressive number across any other sport.
The team represents the Mohali, Punjab region and underwent a name change from the Kings XI Punjab in 2021. The idea behind the name change was to give the team a fresh start after their failure to lift a title.
Their most successful season was back in 2014 when they finished runners up and they will be hoping to improve on that this season.
With such a large population and people of Indian descent settling all around the world, social media has provided an excellent way for them to stay in touch with the latest news from their favorite teams and stars.
This can be a great marketing tool for IPL franchises and other Indian sports teams, and also benefit people who place bets on Indian sports by keeping up with team news and updates.
Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and X, formally known as Twitter, are the largest social media platforms in India, and with over 50% of the Indian population now having access to the internet, the popularity of their sports teams is sure to grow further.