BCW Sports has released its social media ranking for 2021, which revealed that the International Cricket Council is the most followed International Federation on social media ©BCW

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has retained its position as the most followed International Federation on the Burson Cohn & Wolfe Sports (BCW Sports) social media ranking.

The report from BCW Sports for 2021, released today, shows a 35 per cent increase in the number of the ICC's social media followers compared with last year.

Nearly 80 million people follow the ICC on platforms including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and TikTok.

FIFA is second on the list combining Olympic and non-Olympic Federations with more than 41 million followers.

Football's worldwide governing body topped the ranking for Olympic Federations ahead of the International Basketball Federation.

The top four is the same as 2021, with the International Volleyball Federation in fourth.

World Athletics moved up one place from sixth to fifth after more than doubling the number of its followers to over eight million.

FIFA topped the list for Summer Olympic International Federations ©BCW
FIFA topped the list for Summer Olympic International Federations ©BCW

Non-Olympic sports are also represented in the top 10 by the International Federation of Teqball in seventh and the International Cheer Union in 10th.

Summer Federations continued to dominate the ranking as there are no Winter Federations in the top 10 of either the Olympic or non-Olympic standings.

BCW Sports reported that Federations "have turned up their social media presence, pushing virtual engagement on all levels such as athlete take-overs, interactive fan outreach and virtual events" in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to the cancellation and postponement of dozens of events in 2021.

"While sport and events continue to be negatively impacted by COVID-19, it is clear that a strong social media presence provides IFs with new opportunities for growth," said BCW Sports senior director Tanya Heimlich-Ng Yuen.

"When done right, IFs are able to not only expand their brand awareness but also cultivate new partnerships and rapidly increase their fan bases. 

"With some IFs growing their base by more than 100 per cent and gaining millions of new followers in a year, it shows that most IFs have not even begun to tap into their online potential."

The full report is available here.