One Direction has been one of the world's best-selling musical acts for years now, and their popularity is the only thing that can keep the 2014 World Cup in Brazil from being literally the hottest ticket on Earth.
World Cup fever has gripped the globe, as hundreds of thousands of fans have descended on South America's largest nation, tickets in hand -- or on their smartphones -- in order to experience the height of international sport.
Global demand for World Cup tickets has been overshadowed by only one thing: the obsession teens from Tokyo to New York have with the boy band One Direction.
Oliver Wheeler, head of communications for viagogo, the largest online ticket marketplace in the world for sports, entertainment and music, says that the five-member English-Irish group has remained the most popular ticket on the site for years, and kept it even after the World Cup began last week.
"One Direction remains No. 1; they are a phenomenon. One Direction has had the No. 1 spot for the last couple of years now and we’re able to look at that at a global level," Wheeler said. "They announced they were going on a 2015 tour six weeks ago, but since they’ve started touring a couple of years ago they’ve been in the top spot. So even the World Cup can't knock One Direction off the top."
For obsessive soccer fans, this may come as a shock, but for Directioners, the self-granted moniker of fans of One Direction, it's likely by no means a surprise, as the band has one of the most loyal fan bases in the world.
Among its many accomplishments, One Direction (known affectionately as 1D), in December became the only act to have its first three albums debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. Its celebrity hearthrob members are Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson.