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Premier League is voted the ‘Best British icon’

Premier LeagueThe English Premier League has topped a poll of British icons that best represent the country in the eyes of the world.

Four thousand people in eight countries were asked to rank 15 British institutions on their modern appeal and how well they were trusted and globally recognised.

The survey revealed that English football had the “X factor” – that hidden attribute which came closest to combining all of the positive qualities tested. British universities, the BBC and Rolls-Royce were second and joint third respectively. The monarchy came 12th.

Some, such as Harrods and JCB, are based in England. None of those polled was based in Scotland, even though some may argue that St Andrews (home of golf) and the Scotch whisky industry have bigger international profiles than either of these, and the British Council, which was included.

The Premier League came top among young, affluent people across the markets polled.

However, the rankings for the British Icon Index vary by market: wherever football is popular, the Premier League dominates; in other markets, British universities, the BBC, Jaguar Land Rover and Rolls-Royce have the highest scores.

Rick Nye, managing director of Populus which organised the poll, said: “The good news for the UK is that many of its most cherished institutions and famous brands travel well.

“What distinguishes the performance of the Premier League, however, is the breadth of its appeal, and in particular its ability to reach and engage a younger, more affluent global audience than all of the other icons tested.

“It is the most effective advertisement for what the UK wants to say about itself – modern, successful, exciting, open, inclusive, trusted – and this favourable impression is largely independent of people’s general views about the UK as a country.”

Full report and tables here:

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