Saudi Pro League shows a strong concentration of followers
Four clubs in the Saudi Pro League hold over 97% of all the division’s followers on Instagram. In 2023, three of the 11 clubs with the most new followers globally are Saudi.
One of the consequences of the massive investment by Saudi Pro League clubs has been the significant growth of their social media. In about half a year, the Saudi clubs, combined, have gone from 11.46 million to 32 million followers on their official Instagram pages, as of data collected – and which is growing day after day – on August 21, 2023 .
Saudi Pro League clubs, however, also have a digital attribute that indicates a large imbalance between team structures: the concentration on the number of followers.
In analyzing eight football leagues and their best teams, we found that the Saudi Pro League has the highest concentration of followers: 97.06% of the follower base corresponds to just four clubs: Al Nassr, Al Hilal, Al Ittihad and Al Ahli. The other 14 teams have only 2.94% of the total followers.
Only one league comes close to the scenario experienced by Saudi clubs: La Liga. In Spain, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico de Madrid have 95.8% of all followers. However, La Liga clubs have 9.2 times more followers than Saudi ones.
Analysis by country
The Saudi scenario also shows a high concentration rate in the club that has the most followers in relation to other competitors in its own league.
Al Nassr, club of the stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Sadio Mané, has 18 million followers (data extracted on August 21st), which is equivalent to 56% of the total followers of the teams that compete in the Saudi Pro League.
The 56% of Al Nassr is only surpassed by the 59% of Juventus, from Italy, and the 57.1% of FC Bayern München, from Germany. With 59 million followers, Juventus is fifth in the world ranking of followers; FC Bayern approaches 40 million followers, ranking ninth in terms of having the most followers on Instagram worldwide.
Al Nassr, in turn, is already ranked 13th in the world with the most followers on Instagram.
One of the biggest growths in the world in 2023
The imbalance can be clearly noticed in the number of new followers gained in 2023 — Al Nassr rank third in terms of having the most new followers globally. This is second only to the giant Real Madrid and the phenomenon Inter Miami, boosted by the transfer – and excellent performances – of Lionel Messi, who led the North American team to its first title: the Leagues Cup.
In 2023, Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nassr gained 12.7 million new followers.
Al Hilal, second in the ranking of followers among Saudi clubs, come seventh as the team with the most new followers in 2023 worldwide.
Among the top 11 clubs, three are Saudi. Alongside England, it is the country that had the highest number of clubs among those that most expanded their digital domain on Instagram – the social media platform that holds the largest market share in digital consumption.