Sports fans are some of the most dedicated fans on the planet, going to all lengths to show their support for their favorite teams and players.
While some attend every game, and others buy team merchandise, some of the most loyal sports fans show their love through tattoos.

TicketSource wanted to find out which teams and players across the NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB inspire the most fan tattoos by analyzing Google searches and Instagram posts.

The most popular team tattoos on Instagram and Google are in the NFL, with 219,000 Google searches for NFL team tattoos in the last year. The most famous players inspiring body art play in the NBA, with 392,000 Google searches last year for NBA player tattoos compared to 100,920 searches for NFL player tattoos.


The Most Popular US Sports Team Tattoos on Instagram

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1) Toronto Maple Leafs – 5,676 Instagram posts

The most popular sports team inspiring fan tattoos is the Toronto Maple Leafs. One of the original six NHL teams, the Maple Leafs were founded in 1909 and has commanded fan loyalty ever since.

2) Chicago Bears – 5,653 Instagram posts

Following closely behind the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs, the Chicago Bears are one of the most popular sports teams to get tattooed. The Chicago Bears are one of just two of the original NFL teams from 1920 to still exist today – the other being the Arizona Cardinals.

3) Denver Broncos – 3,813 Instagram posts

The Broncos are a fan favorite for tattoo inspiration, with 3,813 hashtagged Instagram tattoo posts. The youngest team in our top three, the Broncos, joined the NFL in 1970; however, despite their age, their fan loyalty is undeniable.


The Most Popular US Sports Team Tattoos on Google

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1) Dallas Cowboys – 38,200 annual Google searches

There have been more Google searches for Dallas Cowboys tattoos than any other US sports team in the last year. Also popular on social media, the Cowboys have one of the NFL’s largest Instagram followings at 3.9 million followers.

2) Buffalo Bills – 34,300 annual Google searches

New York’s Buffalo Bills inspire thousands of fan tattoos, with 34,000 Google searches last year for ‘Buffalo Bills tattoo”. Some popular tattoos include the team’s logo, while others think more outside the box featuring chicken wings in their designs.

3) Chicago Bulls – 19,800 annual Google searches

Chicago Bulls fans are some of the most dedicated in all of US sports, coming in third place for tattoo searches on Google. In the last 12 months, there have been 19,800 Google searches for Chicago Bulls tattoos worldwide.


The Most Popular US Sports Athlete Tattoos on Instagram

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1) LeBron James – 502 Instagram posts

While some fans take tattoo inspiration from their favorite sports teams, others base their tattoo designs around popular athletes. Basketball legend LeBron James is the most popular athlete to base tattoos on, and it’s not surprising since he is also the most followed US athlete on Instagram.

2) Tom Brady – 53 Instagram posts

Quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tom Brady is also a source of tattoo inspiration for fans. Brady was the second-highest-paid athlete in the NFL last year, and there are 53 tagged posts on Instagram under #TomBradytattoo.

3) Stephen Curry – 25 Instagram posts

Stephen Curry is the second NBA athlete in our top three and inspires more tattoos than most other US sports players. Playing for the Golden State Warriors since 2009, Curry is regarded by many as one of the greatest NBA players of all time, so his impact on fans is unsurprising.


The Most Popular US Sports Athlete Tattoos on Google

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1) Stephen Curry – 122,000 annual Google searches

Two-time MVP and three-time champion, the NBA’s Stephen Curry is the most popular athlete inspiring tattoos according to Google searches. In the last 12 months, there have been 122,000 searches worldwide for Stephen Curry tattoos.

2) Kevin Durant – 70,400 annual Google searches

The second NBA player in our top three, Kevin Durant, is a popular choice for ink inspiration among fans. There have been 70,400 global searches in the last 12 months for tattoos based on the Brooklyn Nets’ power forward.

3) LeBron James – 60,200 annual Google searches

Since joining the NBA in 2003, LeBron James has proved himself one of basketball’s greatest players. Four-time MVP and three-time NBA champion LeBron James is also one of the most popular US athletes for tattoos, according to Google searches.


Methodology

TicketSource wanted to find out which US sports teams and athletes inspire the most fan tattoos, so it compiled a list of all teams in the NBANFLNHL, and MLB and the highest-earning players across each league. Lists of the highest-earning players in the NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB were sourced from Forbes.

Using Instagram, the number of posts tagged with each team and player name followed by ‘tattoo’ was recorded and is accurate as of 01/28/2022.

With Google Keyword Planner, the number of Google searches worldwide over the last 12 months for each team and player name followed by ‘tattoo’ was sourced.


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