Sports League of the Year
Major League Soccer
Led by the response to Atlanta United’s championship year, MLS set records for viewership, attendance and product sales. Its expansion process also continued, with four new clubs joining the league — Cincinnati this season, Nashville and Miami in 2020, and Austin in 2021 — through expansion that shows no signs of stopping.
National Basketball Association
After breaking attendance records for the fourth straight season, the NBA saw worldwide streaming subscriptions increase 64% and viewership growth throughout the regular season and playoffs, while being named the third Most Innovative Company of the Year by Fast Company.
National Football League
It was a resurgent year for the NFL with increases in ratings and attendance and all of its business metrics pointing up. It also signed its first official casino deal with Caesars; extended deals with Visa and CBS; and saw a 29% drop in concussions from last season.
It was a year of innovation for the PGA Tour marked by a $2 billion deal with Discovery for its international TV rights, a partnership with IMG to sell its gambling data and the integration of new technologies such as artificial intelligence into tournament telecasts.