The study had previously shown that the ISL had the third-most engagement on Instagram in world football.

It may have been just six years since the Indian Super League (ISL) came into existence, but it has already grown into one of the most popular football leagues in the world. In such a short time, teams like FC Goa, Kerala Blasters and Bengaluru FC have also become some of the post popular football clubs in Asia, if not the whole world.

According to a recent study conducted by the Spanish sports business institution Deportes y Finanzas, Kochi-based Kerala Blasters have emerged as the most popular ISL club on social network Instagram. Having completed over 25.2m interactions in just the first six months of 2020. The Blasters have literally blown away the rest of their opponents when it comes to online popularity. In second place are FC Goa with 6.83m interactions during the same period.

Two-time ISL champions Chennaiyin FC finished third with 5.59m interactions while Bengaluru FC were fourth with 1.48m interactions. In fifth spot are reigning champions ATK Mohun Bagan, with 1.41m interactions.

A graphical representation of the top ISL clubs according to the study by Spanish sports business institution Deportes y Finanzas

According to another recent study conducted by the same agency, it was previously revealed that the ISL had received a total of over 38m interactions so far this year. That also made it the third-most popular football league in the world, behind LaLiga, the Premier League and Bundesliga. Even the Italian Serie A, which features the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic among others, finished below the ISL in fifth place.

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Out of the 38m interactions that the ISL has received via Instagram over the past six months, over 25m belong to Kerala Blasters alone, indicating that the Yellow Army are one of the most popular sports teams representing the country. It has also been understood that 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.

A Mumbai-based social media industry expert had recently spoken to IANS about the ISL’s growing social media presence. “Sports are being consumed in huge numbers among the extremely tech-savvy Indian youth in the digital space,” he had said. “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.”

The upcoming 2020-21 season of the competition is all set to kickoff in November and the final decision on the host state and venues is expected to be announced soon. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant lockdown that is still ongoing in most parts of the country, the league will be held in a single state behind-closed-doors, so as to minimize the risk of virus spread.

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