Bundesliga, Premier League and La Liga are the only other competitions that have better number of interactions than the Indian Super League.

The Indian Super League (ISL) is definitely making an upward curve in terms of popularity in the country and that has been proven by a study from Spanish sports business institution, Deportes y Finanzas.

According to the study, the ISL garnered 38.1m fan interactions from January 1 to June 30 of this year. What makes this impressive is that the league managed to generate more engagement on Instagram than the Serie A (18.1m), despite the Italian league being home to one of the best players in the world – Cristiano Ronaldo.

A graphical representation of the top five football leagues in terms of Instagram interaction

The ISL is the fourth most engaging league on Instagram. Meanwhile, the Bundesliga is third with 53m interactions on the social media platform. LaLiga leads this tally with 319m interactions and the Premier League is behind it with 296m interactions.

But, what makes ISL’s achievement even more impressive is the fact that, this year, the league has only seen action from January till March, when it ended after ATK were crowned champions. Indeed, only 46 games – including the playoffs and final took place in the three-month period for the ISL.

In comparison, the Serie A saw its action stopped in mid-March due to the coronavirus outbreak in Italy, but resumed its season last month. A Mumbai-based social media industry expert spoke to IANS on this achievement and said: “Sports are being consumed in huge numbers among the extremely tech-savvy Indian youth in the digital space.”

“European football has been pretty popular, but the increasing numbers of the ISL only show that football in India is being embraced by the country’s millennials. I think ISL has enormous potential to engage more fans globally across other platforms as well.”

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The ISL also managed to rack up an unprecedented 74.82m interactions through all its social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube) last season, which is almost double the tally of the 2018-19 term.

The matchday engagements also soared last season, with the 2019-20 campaign witnessing a spike to 213m video views across all platforms, a huge improvement compared to the 97m from the term before that.

The next season of the ISL is expected to begin somewhere around November, but will be held in a single state with no fans being allowed into the stadiums due to the coronavirus pandemic. But, with the league’s social media experts doing a fantastic job in increasing the digital reach around the country, ISL will continue to be on the upward trend in terms of social media engagements in the near future.