November 20, 2019

Most Influential Athletes in 2018

Let's look at the Top 3 of best performing sports athlete social media accounts for MMA, Basketball, Tennis, Cricket and Football.

The days when sports athletes had one job is over. Social media has changed the rules. Not only can athletes enhance their own brand, but the expansion of follower base can provide them with lots of new revenue streams.

Let’s put this into numbers. If you are a professional athlete with more than a million followers, you can easy nail an endorsement deal for at least 50,000 USD.

Now let’s see it through a perspective of Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the best sports athletes in the world. On average he reaches more than 340 million people on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. According to Forbes, he can gain more than $1 billion per year only through sponsorship deals on his social media channels. Interesting, right?

Let’s dig a little deeper and list Top 3 athletes on social media which represent most popular sports. Keep in mind that the numbers are from 2018.

Let’s dig a little and explore the Top 3 of best performing sports athlete social media accounts for each of the most popular sports. We are going to explore: MMA, basketball, tennis, cricket and football. Keep in mind that all of this is based on data from 2018.


MMA TOP 3


3. Khabib Nurmagomedov

Total social media influence: 16.2 million

Country: Russia

Salary: $4 million (estimated net worth)

Facebook likes: 1.1 million

Twitter followers: 660k

Instagram followers: 13.4 million


2. Ronda Rousey

Total social media influence: 26.7 million

Country: United States

Salary: $12 million (estimated net worth)

Facebook likes: 11.4 million

Twitter followers: 3.7 million

Instagram followers: 11.6 million


1. Conor McGregor

Total social media influence: 44.8 million

Country: Ireland

Salary: $85 million (includes winnings)

Endorsements: $14 million

Facebook likes: 7.9 million

Twitter followers: 7.6 million

Instagram followers: 29.3 million


Basketball Top 3


3. Stephen Curry

Total social media influence: 43.6 million

Country: United States

Salary: $34.9 million

Endorsements: $42 million

Facebook likes: 8.2 million

Twitter followers: 12.9 million

Instagram followers: 22.5 million


2. Kobe Bryant

Total social media influence: 43.8 million

Country: United States

Salary: $25 million (retired in 2016)

Endorsements: $25 million (approximate)

Facebook likes: 20.7 million

Twitter followers: 14.1 million

Instagram followers: 9 million


1. LeBron James

Total social media influence: 108.2 million

Country: United States

Salary: $35.6 million

Endorsements: $55 million

Facebook likes: 23.2 million

Twitter followers: 41.9 million

Instagram followers: 43.1 million


Tennis TOP 3


3. Maria Sharapova

Total social media influence: 27.1 million

Country: Russia

Salary: $1.3 million (winnings)

Endorsements: $9.5 million

Facebook likes: 15 million

Twitter followers: 8.8 million

Instagram followers: 3.3 million


2. Roger Federer

Total social media influence: 32.7 million

Country: Switzerland

Salary: $5.8 million (2018 winnings)

Endorsements: $33 million

Facebook likes: 14.9 million

Twitter followers: 12.4 million

Instagram followers: 5.4 million


1. Rafael Nadal

Total social media influence: 36 million

Country: Spain

Salary: $8.6 million (2018 winnings)

Endorsements: $33 million

Facebook likes: 14.5 million

Twitter followers: 15.6 million

Instagram followers: 5.9 million


Cricket TOP 3


3. Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Total social media influence: 38.7 million

Country: India

Salary: $1.8 million

Endorsements: $28 million

Facebook likes: 20.5 million

Twitter followers: 7.2 million

Instagram followers: 11 million


2. Sachin Tendulkar


Total social media influence: 67.6 million

Country: India

Salary: $2.1 million (retired in 2013)

Endorsements: $9 million

Facebook likes: 28.6 million

Twitter followers: 27.5 million

Instagram followers: 11.5 million


1. Virat Kohli

Total social media influence: 88.7 million

Country: India

Salary: $4 million

Endorsements: $19 million

Facebook likes: 37.3 million

Twitter followers: 27.1 million

Instagram followers: 24.3 million


Football TOP 3


3. Lionel Messi

Total social media influence: 189.9 million

Country: Argentina

Salary: $84 million

Endorsements: $30 million

Facebook likes: 89.9 million

Twitter followers: None (does not have one)

Instagram followers: 100 million


2. Neymar Jr.

Total social media influence: 206.3 million

Country: Brazil

Salary: $73 million

Endorsements: $17 million

Facebook likes: 60.8 million

Twitter followers: 41.5 million

Instagram followers: 104 million


1. Cristiano Ronaldo

Total social media influence: 342.4 million

Country: Portugal

Salary: $64 million

Endorsements: $32 million

Facebook likes: 122.7 million

Twitter followers: 75.7 million

Instagram followers: 144 million


#athletes #socialmedia #influencers

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