The Trending Sports In Asia And How They’re Set To Expand In The Future

cricket bat ball

While Asia isn’t exactly at the head of the sport’s industry, it can certainly hold its own and with plenty of sports starting to gain more and more traction, the potential for expansion is huge. From the cricket pitch, to the badminton court, Asia is starting to invest more and more time and money into their sporting industry. Below, we’re exploring which sports are trending currently and how the industry could expand in the future.


The popularity of cricket in Asia is undeniable, especially in the likes of India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.Not only is cricket being the most heavily wagered sport in these four countries, but with four Cricket World Cup wins between them, this sport has easily won a comfortable spot on this list. While cricket is popular across a host ofAsian countries, it’s especially so in India. Current and retired cricket players are often seen in advertising campaigns and on billboards, not too unlike football players might be in the UK or USA. For this reason, cricket has been, and continues to be a popular trending sport in Asia.

The Asia Cricket Cup is sign alone that this is a sport taken seriously here. India was the most recent winner, and is due to host the cup this year, though due to a refusal by the Indian government for Pakistan to play in the games, it is being held in the United Arab Emirates instead. Despite this disruption, the excitement for the 2018 games remains high and it just goes to prove how widely accepted this sport is across the continent.


While Golf might not be a sport that immediately comes to mind when considering Asian sports, it is quickly becoming increasingly popular. Initially, Japan and South Korea were the only two countries to have taken an interest in the sport, however, it quickly became clear that most of this ‘popularity’ was due to foreign tourists. However, with the Masters and British Open taking more time and effort to include Asian players, this is beginning to change.

Golf in Asia might still be struggling in terms of official competitions, but the popularity of the sport as a pastime is growing regardless. With the PGA Championship have stated that it would not be relocated to Asia, the speculation in 2012 alone is enough to show that the improvement of the golfing industry is certainly in discussion within Asia.


Basketball is a sport that has quickly grown popularity in recent years, particularly within the Philippines. A survey by Rakuten AIP found that roughly three quarters of those surveyed said they were basketball fans and with the Philippines Basketball Association being the oldest continuously existing league in the world, second only to the NBA. However, the Philippines isn’t the only country that’s basketball-mad in Asia.

In fact, Taiwan and China are both fans of the game, not least because of players like Jeremey Lin who continue to bring attention to the countries. Interestingly, perhaps, is the fact that Asian basketball fans tend to lean towards American basketball teams. In the Philippines, the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers are some of the most popular and most commonly mentioned and a partnership between Rakuten and the Golden State Warriors has even come about as a result.

How Tech Could Lead The Sports Industry In Asia

With these sports already gaining popularity, it’s not difficult to see why Asia are quickly leaving their mark on the sporting industry. However, technology could very well be the final push that the continent needs to develop their sporting markets. According to experts at a recent Nielsen conference, Asia’s sporting market could very well be driven by eSports and live streaming in the near future.

ESports in particular is becoming a very popular issue and a priority for media officials, publishers, brands and even traditional sports associations, with the potential behind eSports partnerships hard to ignore. With the increasing scope of this industry, the economic benefits alone could be more than enough to lead international investors to look towards Asia. With that in mind, the currently trending sports in the country could take a turn for the technological, either turning into eSports themselves or opening their doors to the associated technology and audience.

Similarly, live streaming could be the key to pulling in more and more viewers for their games. With ease of access, sports fans from across the globe will be more likely to invest their time and money into watching and participating in Asia’s top sporting events, whether through pay-per-view games or sports betting. Regardless, the potential this holds for Asia’s economy isn’t something any country within the continent should ignore.

Asia’s sporting industry is consistently growing and through careful nurturing and promotion of some of their top trending sports, the market could expand considerably. While Asian sports aren’t dominating the media quite yet, the potential isn’t something to overlook, so watch this space.


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