The Quick Report

10 Facts That Prove Football Has Replaced Baseball as Our National Sport

Baseball may be America’s pastime, but it’s not America’s preferred sport. 

While baseball is certainly ingrained in the nation’s cultural fabric, there’s no question that in recent decades football has risen to prominence. And that’s before Taylor Swift got involved!

From television ratings to youth participation, here are 10 compelling facts that illustrate football’s ascent to becoming our new national sport.

Television Ratings

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Plain and simple, football dominates the ratings. The Super Bowl, in particular, has become a cultural phenomenon, drawing record-breaking viewership numbers year after year. In fact, this year’s Super Bowl became the most-watched television program of all time. 

Popularity Among Millennials 

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Surveys indicate that millennials are more likely to identify as football fans than baseball fans, reflecting a generational shift in sports preferences. The fast-paced action and spectacle of football seem to resonate with younger audiences, contributing to its growing popularity over the years.

Fantasy Football 

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It seems like everyone — even if they aren’t football fans! — participates in fantasy football. In fact, fantasy football has become a multi-billion-dollar industry, with millions of participants drafting teams, managing rosters, and competing for cash prizes. 

Youth Participation

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Football remains the most popular sport among American youth, with millions of children and teenagers participating in organized leagues and programs across the country. The grassroots level of involvement in football underscores its widespread appeal and cultural significance.

Media Coverage

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The rise of 24/7 sports media coverage has elevated football to new heights, with dedicated television networks, radio shows, podcasts, content creators, and other online platforms providing in-depth coverage year-round.

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Revenue and Sponsorship Deals 

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The NFL generates billions of dollars in revenue annually, fueled by lucrative television contracts, sponsorship deals, and merchandising opportunities. Major brands and corporations eagerly align themselves with football, recognizing its immense reach and influence.

International Appeal

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While baseball remains largely confined to North America and select other countries — like Japan — football has achieved more global appeal. There are NFL games now played in London, Germany, Mexico, and, in 2024, Brazil! 

Social Media

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Football commands a significant presence on social media platforms, with NFL teams, players, and leagues boasting millions of followers. They do a great job engaging with fans and providing behind-the-scenes content, highlights, and interactive experiences.

Cultural Relevance 

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Football has permeated every aspect of American culture, from movies and television shows to music and fashion. References to the sport are ubiquitous, cementing its status as a central pillar of contemporary American identity.

National Events and Holidays 

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Football has become synonymous with national events and holidays, with Thanksgiving Day games and Super Bowl Sunday serving as annual traditions that bring families and communities together.