Top 10 Summer Global Sports


Summertime is marked as one of the most eventful times of the year.  With the need to get to out and enjoy the long days and sunny skies, many people find the most joy surfaces when people – masses, crowds, even hoards of people – gather together for a single unifying event. These could be political rallies, concerts, and at the starting lines of 5ks, marathons and mud runs. But one of the most unifying events people congregate for are sporting events.

HFR determined the top 10 summer global sports to watch during the summer. Whether you’re in town, looking to travel, or bound to stay home or at the bar to catch games, these events are sure to draw huge crowds and create connections wherever you are!

Here are the Top 10 global sports for the summer:

  • Association Football / American Soccer –  Played by over 250 million players in more than 200 countries, football (or soccer in the U.S.) is known as one of the most popular sports globally.
    • Biggest event is the FIFA World Cup (FIFA stands for Fédération Internationale de Football Association; in English: International Federation of Association Football) World Cup.
    • The men’s competition was last watched by an estimated 600 million people total in 2014 and the 2015 women’s peaked at 22.86 million TV viewers in the U.S. for the U.S. vs. Japan finale, becoming the highest viewed soccer event in the U.S.
    • The World Cup takes place every four years and features both women’s and men’s leagues.
    • Soccer is dominant in South America, Europe, and Africa but is also a major sport in the U.S., India, Australia, China, Japan and Canada. Soccer also holds some of the highest paid sportsmen such as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.  Soccer is typically played year-round, but the FIFA World Cup tournament typically takes place in the month of July.
  • Tennis –  Originating in England, Tennis has been gradually rising to becoming one of the top global sports.  Most of the popular competitions taking place from May to September, including the the U.S. Open, the French Open and Wimbledon (the other major event is the Australian Open, which takes place between January and February).
    • Tennis is most popular in Europe, Asia, Latin America and North America.
    • Tennis also holds some of the world’s highest paid athletes seen during the biggest tennis event, Wimbledon.
    • Wimbledon is one of the top 10 most watched events in the summer with players representing more than 40 countries.
  • Swimming – This sport not only qualifies as a great summer sport because of how crisp and refreshing the water is, but also because swimming is ranked as the second highest sport of interest in the Summer Olympics.
    • The competitive season takes place from April to September,
    • Swimming is most commonly known in the U.S., South America, Asia, and Europe.
  • Golf – Rising in fame as a global sport during the Ryder Cup between the U.S. and Europe, many of the most popular golf tournaments takes place between April and August.
    • The Fedex Cup has made this sport popular with winners acquiring a $10 million prize.
    • Golf is not only gaining popular interest in the U.S. and Europe, but also Japan, UK, Australia and South Korea.
  • Cycling – With the Tour de France finale rating as one of the top events watched globally, cycling has gained popular interest around the world.
    • The most popular interest lies in Europe with the major Tours taking place in Spain, Italy, and France, and can also be classified as a summer sport in Australia, Mexico, . There is minor popularity in the U.S. and Asia.
    • The typical season for cycling takes place during May and June where millions of events and races take place every year globally.
  • Track and field –  Along with swimming, track and field is also a popular summer global sport due to the Summer Olympics.  During the Summer Olympics, track and field has been noted as top-watched sport worldwide.
    • With the season taking place from May to August, track and field has the highest popularity in Europe, Asia, and South America, but has risen to be a major sport in the North America.
  • Boxing – Although matches take place year- round, boxing has been challenged at the Summer Olympics every year.
    • Boxing is a major global sport with world champions ranking in from every continent, however, the majority of the popularity is in Japan, Russia, the U.S., the U.K. and Mexico.
    • This sport hosts some of the most popular athletes such as Muhammad Ali and Floyd Mayweather and is rapidly gaining popularity worldwide.
  • Baseball – Although baseball has the most popularity in two major countries (the U.S. and Japan), baseball has also been deemed as a major sport in other parts of the world such as: Europe, and South America.
    • Although American baseball’s big event, the World Series, typically takes place in the fall/winter, the majority of the baseball season begins during the summer in the months April to to October.  It has also been noted that MLB and Nippon League are two of the highest attended leagues in the world.
    • For tournament-styled baseball, consider watching the Little League World Series. The series features the youth of the world, ages  representing both the U.S. and other countries from various regions of the world, including Asian-Pacific, the Caribbean, South America, Europe-Africa and several others.
  • Horse racing – With the most interest being in the U.K., Australia, U.S., and Japan, horse racing, to non-horse racing enthusiasts, has been known to be a gambling sport, but, it is an entertaining summer sport, no doubt.
    • The popular time for horse racing falls between March and June with major events taking place sole where the sport is very popular.
    • The Melbourne Cup, the Grand National, and the Kentucky Derby are three of the biggest horse racing events that take place annually.
  • NASCAR – Although the majority of the popularity for this sport lies in the U.S. where it originated, NASCAR has been recently gaining popularity in European countries, and also Canada and Mexico.
    • The Sprint Cup the final major event for the NASCAR season, taking place from May to November.


Leave a Reply