LAUSANNE, February 25, 2020 – In search of the city most associated with sport, leading global communications agency BCW (Burson Cohn & Wolfe) today released its 2020 Ranking of Sports Cities. For the first time in the eight-year history of the ranking, New York took first place, besting perennial leader London. Paris, Los Angeles and Lausanne remain in the top five sports cities worldwide.

The BCW ‘Ranking of Sports Cities’ evaluates top 50 sports cities from around the world based on a quantitative digital footprint analysis of the association between sport and a city (weighting 50 percent), combined with the perception-based views of leaders of International Sports Federations (25 percent) and major international sports media (25 percent). BCW tracks this data, along with other sport and societal trends, to inform its BCW Eventus™ offering, which helps countries, cities, sports organisations and brands maximise the value of major sporting events.

With each edition of the ranking, the three lowest ranked cities drop off the list and the top three non-listed cities named by survey respondents are added. New cites that will be added to the 2021 edition of the ranking are: Marseille (FRA), Milan (ITA) and Oslo (NOR).

Donna Imperato, BCW Global CEO, said: “Sport has a powerful ability to attract, engage and move people. Through an integrated, audience-centric approach, as we’ve pioneered through BCW Eventus, sporting events can become excellent vehicles for promoting a city internationally and creating economic impact.”

Lars Haue-Pedersen, BCW Managing Director – Sports Practice, said: “This year’s results confirm the trends we have been observing for some time in sports and cities. The cities whose image are largely associated with sports are either hosting major international sporting events – in particular the Olympic Games, of which six of the top 10 cities in the ranking have hosted or will host the Games – or are home to renowned professional sports teams that promote the city’s name week after week. It is also interesting to note that the many smaller cities making their way up the ranking have developed smart strategies that make full use of the power of sport to raise their profile around the world.”

Download the BCW 2020 Ranking of Sports Cities combined with key learnings from the results.

About Burson Cohn & Wolfe

BCW (Burson Cohn & Wolfe), one of the world’s largest full-service global communications agencies, is in the business of moving people on behalf of clients. Founded by the merger of Burson-Marsteller and Cohn & Wolfe, BCW delivers digitally and data-driven creative content and integrated communications programs grounded in earned media and scaled across all channels for clients in the B2B, consumer, corporate, crisis management, CSR, healthcare, sport, public affairs and technology sectors. BCW is a part of WPP (NYSE: WPP), a creative transformation company. For more information, visit


Heloise Signe
Account Director, Burson Cohn & Wolfe – Sports Practice
Tel. +41 21 313 23 00