The most followed sports teams on Instagram can tell you a lot about pop culture — from superstars dating tight ends to major championships, popular sports accounts can be helpful to understand where fans gather and which teams are successful in reaching new and existing fans.
In this blog, we look into:
The most followed sports teams on Instagram are, unsurprisingly, mostly European football teams (known as soccer in the US) whose fans span geographical bounds. How do these brands capitalize on their ultra-engaged (and sometimes borderline obsessive) fans to grow their follower list and encourage non-fans to follow their journey — on and off-season? Read on to discover which sports teams have the biggest followings.
Real Madrid uses creative prompts and posts to engage their audience further. While their feed uses a range of hi-fi images, it still provides the feel that audiences are gaining an exclusive peak at behind-the-scenes footage. They also use their social presence to inform their audience of upcoming games and relevant events and to inspire their community to come out and watch.
In this example, Real Madrid blurs a player's image and scrambles their name to make a fun guessing game for followers. This is a great way to engage new fans and encourage them to test their trivia knowledge.
FC Barcelona’s Instagram presence is mostly dedicated to their teams’ players. Featuring images from promotional shoots, action shots on the field and even AI-generated images to celebrate the Year of the Dragon.
PSG takes a similar approach to FC Barcelona, leveraging its fandom by spotlighting their star players throughout their feed. This helps them create a consistent image throughout their feed while connecting with their target audience by featuring behind-the-scenes content and insights from players, like this example below, where players bet on the outcome of the 2024 Super Bowl. This is also a great example of producing content targeted to a different region, in this instance, the United States.
Manchester United capitalizes on its hyper-engaged audience to communicate information about their players, upcoming games and promote relevant products from brand partnerships, like their collaboration with Adidas.
Juventus, another football team, is a great example of crafting content that appeals to different regional target audiences. In this example, they feature player stats in Chinese to celebrate the Lunar New Year and connect with Chinese audiences.
Like other teams on this list, Liverpool spotlights its players and history on its Instagram account. This approach appeals to fans who want to discover new stats, game highlights and relive their favorite Liverpool moments throughout history. In this example, they highlight the importance of fans to their team with an edit featuring a team huddle superimposed on a crowd of cheering Liverpool fans.
Chelsea builds rapport with their fans by shining a light on their players and producing fun, relatable content that entertains audiences and gives them a glimpse into their favorite players.
Bayern uses player stats, Q&As, game highlights and more to entertain and engage their audience. In this example, they take an interesting approach to Reels, highlighting both their team and their rival.
The Golden State Warriors, 7-time NBA Championship winners, use their Instagram to pull interview highlights from post-game press conferences, player stats and other relevant updates during the off-season to keep fans engaged.
Like other teams on this list, Arsenal's feed is visually consistent with their team colors. They also use Instagram Stories to engage their audience. Interactive elements like polls and quizzes on Instagram are great ways to engage users in the post-season.
The Los Angeles Lakers pays tribute to players like Kobe Bryant while sharing game highlights and entertaining, behind-the-scenes peaks at player routines and more. This access gives users a sense of inclusivity and insight into their favorite players. The Lakers also benefit from their hometown, often sharing glimpses of celebrities like Will Ferrel and others sitting courtside.
How do the best Instagram sports accounts perform? We explore sports accounts crafting strategies that change the game, increase fanfare and use gold medal tactics to stay on top. Common themes include building a community, using LikeShop to enhance e-commerce, and diving into which tactics help these brands perform.
Voice in Sport aims to build a community of girls and women in sports — they have a podcast, mentorship programs and even an equity initiative titled ‘Side of Equity’ with the goal of leveling the playing field for brands and athletes in women’s sports. With so many different mediums that carry their message, Voice in Sport cleverly uses LikeShop to link to their other projects and causes.
Mabon Golf is a golf lifestyle apparel brand focusing on clothing, hats, footwear, bags and golf accessories. Their Instagram feed is dedicated to showing off their product offerings with stylized product shots, celebrity UGC, and collaborations — like their most recent with the television show ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ — which helps build community by strongly resonating with audiences.
Fleet Fleet Sports is a running retailer focused on building a community of runners. Their feed concentrates on stylized product shots showcasing various brands while sharing events like the ‘Share the Run’ virtual challenge, a great way to reach local audiences near their 260+ locations. This is a great way to foster community globally.
Prize Picks is a fantasy sports betting website — their Instagram strategy uses betting tips, exciting clips from their podcast ‘4 Hunnid’ and sports memes geared towards upcoming games to diversify their content and provide some humor for their audience.
Bullseye Event Group is a travel, tourism and hospitality brand that’s the official partner of several sports teams like the Cleveland Browns, the Los Angeles Rams, the New Orleans Saints and more, who provide upscale tailgating experiences for major sporting events. Their Instagram profile focuses on their services and how they impact the sports community, with many happy customers, players and featured chefs showcased on their feed.
Big Little 9 is a golf course in New Jersey — their feed features shots of their course, tournaments, merchandise available for purchase and more. They leverage their link-in-bio solution to share links to book tee times, shop their merch and register for upcoming events.
Air Jordan is a shoe brand that is as synonymous with sports as it is with fashion. ‘Sneakerheads’ are typically an ultra-engaged audience who eagerly await the latest drops — their feed uses stylized product shots, celebrity and pro athlete photoshoots and occasional snippets from sports games.
Step up your Instagram game with these sports captions — whether you're capturing a thrilling victory, a moment of teamwork or the sheer passion for the game, here are some ideas to use or simply inspire your posts. Feel free to add relevant emojis to these to spice up your captions.
Sports brands looking to elevate their social media presence can leverage Dash Hudson to gain a competitive edge. By integrating Social Listening, brands can glean real-time insights into what fans are talking about, enabling them to tap into current trends and fan sentiments. This tool is crucial for creating content that resonates with audiences and fosters a strong community. Speaking of Community — Dash Hudson's features allow sports brands to communicate and engage more effectively with their followers, building a loyal and active fan base.
Additionally, the Competitive Insights aspect of Dash Hudson provides an in-depth look at what competitors are doing, offering valuable data to refine strategies and stay ahead in the game. Sports brands can craft an impactful and responsive social media strategy by harnessing these tools.
To grow a sports page on Instagram, focus on creating engaging, high-quality content specific to your sports niche. Use vibrant visuals, Instagram Stories and Reels to showcase exciting aspects of the sport. Employ relevant Instagram hashtags for better visibility and engage actively with your audience through comments and messages. Collaborate with sports influencers and related pages to expand your reach. Regularly analyze your page's performance to refine your social media strategy, and always maintain authenticity and passion for the sport to truly connect with your audience.
To create a sports Instagram account, start by signing up for an Instagram account and choosing a username that reflects your sports focus. Customize your profile with a relevant bio, profile picture and a link-in-bio to any other relevant sports-related links or websites. Begin posting high-quality, engaging content related to your chosen sport, using appropriate hashtags and engaging with your audience to grow your presence.