Sunderland beats Newcastle in online popularity league

Sunderland fans celebrating at the weekend's victory over Chelsea.
Sunderland fans celebrating at the weekend's victory over Chelsea.
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Sunderland have finished two places above Newcastle in the league - when it comes to online popularity, that is.

The Digital Premier League Table published today by SimilarWeb analyzed worldwide combined mobile and desktop visits to each of the top Premier League official club sites, from August to April.

Sunderland are 11th with three million visits, and Newcastle sit two places below with 2.5million - making them an unlucky 13.

The new UK Premier League Champions, Leicester City have succeeded in doubling their online global traffic,

But Manchester United’s official website is top of the table for global online visits, and is the most popular fan club site anywhere in the world .

The Premier League’s global popularity is evident with the official sites of the league’s 20 sides achieving more than 290 million visits over the course of the season, with visits from 109 countries.

The official website of Leicester City has seen 4.7 million combined mobile and desktop visits from August to April, global growth of 116% compared to last year’s campaign. While Leicester City has been hailed as "Thailand's team", the analysis found that the majority of non-UK visits to the club’s website came from the U.S, which made up 7.8 percent of the club’s visits over the season, followed by visits from Canada (4.7%) and Japan (3.23%).

Man United's global dominance

The analysis finds that the official Manchester United site - ManUtd.com - can lay claim to being, not only being the biggest UK football club site, but also the most viewed club football site in the world -- ahead of Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Manutd.com, has seen 65.2 million combined worldwide mobile and desktop visits, ahead of second-placed Arsenal (62.1 million visits) and third-placed Liverpool (61.3 million visits) in the digital league. Despite a difficult season on the pitch, Manchester United site experienced growth in online visits from Nigeria, Australia, Malawi, Vietnam, Hong Kong and China.

Online traffic also reflects that online major clubs are no longer focused on the UK -only 18% of visits to Manchester United’s site from the UK. For Arsenal only 24% of visits were from the UK and Liverpool, 30%. Following their successful season, Leicester City also joined this exclusive club of globally popular sites, with 63% of traffic coming from abroad.

However domestic traffic remains far more important for teams at the lower end of our table - West Bromwich Albion saw 60% of their season’s traffic from the UK, Bournemouth 56% and Stoke City (52%).

The analysis also analyzes two long terms trends the growth of mobile visits and social media as major sources of traffic. SimilarWeb found football websites receive up to 63% of visits via mobile. Social media is also playing a major part in engaging fans. Manchester United received 19.26% of its overall club site traffic from social media channels, with relatively even distribution of traffic on Facebook, Twitter and Reddit.