The Olympics: which Dutch sports federations are winning gold on YouTube?

The best Dutch sports federations on YouTube, based on views, engagements and videos

The 2021 Olympic games in Tokyo are just around the corner! Although the sports teams had to reduce their activities to a bare minimum, Team5pm has dived into who remained active online and how the federations engaged with their fans. Based on the amount of views, videos and engagements acquired on YouTube, we composed a list of the top 10 Dutch sports federations in the last 365 days. It can already be said that YouTube’s potential has not been fully exploited by any of the channels. All channels can improve their YouTube strategy and optimize their content. How? Check it out in our leaderboard!

These leaderboards are based on the amount of views, videos and engagements on YouTube. Who controls the YouTube algorithm and used YouTube’s potential to its fullest? Check out our latest leaderboard about the best olympic Dutch sports federations on YouTube! 



Last year, How-To-formats performed particularly well, providing viewers with direct added value by introducing them to a sport through online sports sessions and explanatory videos. Among the best performing videos of these formats are online training and sports sessions of the channel KNVB, which help fans to stay fit during the pandemic. KNLTB Tennis has also used this format to teach viewers the rules of padel, the fastest growing sport in the Netherlands. The channel additionally provides the playlist “tennis en Corona” to show that it’s possible to continue playing tennis during the current situation. This shows that channels take into account the latest trends in the sports world and adapt their content accordingly. In general, it can be said that How-To-formats are enriching for any kind of channel, as the majority of people use YouTube as an educational platform to learn new things. This offers a great opportunity for channels to stay top of mind in people’s memory.


In order to attract the attention of the YouTube algorithm to your channel and achieve better numbers, you need to generate long content. A good approach for long content is to create livestreams. In general, we can see that the channels under consideration make the most views with content longer than 20 minutes (650K views on all channels for videos >20 minutes). It is important to maintain a tension curve that captivates the viewers to the maximum, so that they ideally watch the video to the end. The channel Atletiekunie generates the most views through its livestreams. For example, a nine-hour livestream of the 2020 athletic championship generated 29.5K views on the channel. In general, it can be seen that the channel shines through its long content and rarely resorts to paid promotional videos.


Additionally to explanatory and informative content, it is important to publish entertaining content with recognition value. Like this, the audience has different formats that cover any interests. KNVB generates the most views (approx. 158k views per video) with the playlist ‘Onvoorstelbaar’, where the moderator Jan Joost and sports celebrity Rafael van der Vaart have to overcome crazy courage challenges. These funny type of videos are successful because viewers enjoy seeing Rafeal van der Vaart suffer, for example, by reliving the pain of childbirth in his own body through a tensor device, or Jan Joost undergoing a painful leg waxing. Entertaining and funny content can create a positive association with the federation team.


It is noticeable that none of the federations in the leaderboard use the community tab, even though it is a great way to interact with the audience, next to videos. The community tab allows users to interact with the fan base through posting important announcements in the form of text, images, or gifs. You can also get to know your community’s interests better by starting polls. This way you can achieve higher reach and make your fans aware of current topics or uploaded and upcoming videos. The federations of the leaderboard could take the community tab of the Dutch national football team Ons Oranje as an example of an active community tab.


In order to achieve YouTube success, it is not only important to produce captivating content, but also to optimize it organically in the best possible way. Organic optimization means supporting the video with a suitable, SEO optimized title, a description, the use of hashtags and the support of other videos within a video through the use of i- and end-cards. Unfortunately, our ranking also includes channels that have a fan base of several thousands subscribers, but do not fully exploit YouTube’s organic potential. Badminton Nederland ranks at the bottom of our list because there is no optimization. It is time to step up the game!





Are you curious about more YouTube leaderboards? We have even more data-driven leaderboards! We have listed the most successful sports associations. Curious about something else? Then check out our leaderboards of Dutch banks and the YouTube success of non-profit organizations.

Written by

  • Luuk De Haardt

    Digital Marketing Manager


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