The Australian Open takes first place in YouGov Sport’s UK Australia 2021 Rankings with a score of +35.4. The rankings show the ten sporting properties which generated the most positive buzz among Australians in the last year.
The ranking is based on YouGov SportsIndex data which measures the public’s perception of sports teams, events and leagues on a daily basis, compiling the highest four-week average Buzz scores to create the rankings. Buzz scores are a net measure of whether respondents have heard positive and negative news about an event or sports property in the last fortnight.
The first major tennis championship of the season tends to garner huge interest amongst sports fans and the presence of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic ensured significant buzz around last year’s tournament. The ‘Big Three’ of men’s tennis all made the quarter finals and catapulted the tournament to the top of the YouGov Sport’s UK Australia 2021 Rankings.
While the Australian Open leads the top ten, Australia’s national sport, cricket dominates the list taking three of the top ten spots.
In second place with a peak score of +22.2, the Big Bash league drew enormous crowds across the country to catch games, particularly those featuring legendary South African batsmen AB de Villiers who participated in the tournament for the first time. The Big Bash League is followed closely by Cricket Australia (+21.8) the nation’s official governing body for cricket. In seventh place the Women’s Big Bash League scored +12.5, not far behind Women’s AFL in sixth place on a score of +19.8 reflecting the ever-increasing popularity of women’s sport both in Australia and globally.
Aussie Rules also has a strong presence on the list. Although put on pause due to the pandemic, the Australian Football League resumed three months later than planned. Taking the fourth spot on the ranking, it hit a peak score of +21.4 in October as Richmond Tigers claimed a second consecutive title. AFL Women’s is in sixth place with a score of +19.8.
Sandwiched between the men’s and women’s AFL was Rugby League’s State of Origin Series in fifth place on the list; often described as Australian sports greatest rivalry, New South Wales won a series decider and consecutive series for the first time since 2005 creating significant buzz around the fiercely fought contest.
The final three places were taken by ATP Men’s Tennis which scored +12.2 in January, the English Premier League which hit a peak of +12.0 in February and the Formula One World Championship which scored +11.6 in September.
Commenting on the research, Ned Morris Managing Director of YouGov Australia & New Zealand – Sports, said: “The pandemic might have resulted in delays and disruptions to live sports events, but has clearly not impacted Aussie sports fans from chattering about their favourite sports leagues. While the Australian Open tops the list, it appears that cricket is what has dominated Aussie conversations this year. As the pandemic rolls on, it will be interesting to see how sporting leagues continue to adapt, to keep the games going.”
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