The biggest athlete influencers in Sport

26th May 2020   

With the world of sport moving more towards the social space with every passing day, especially in the current climate we find ourselves in, the importance for top athletes to have a major presence on social platforms is the greatest it’s ever been.

As streaming services like DAZN and Amazon Prime Video now acquiring the rights to broadcast sports online, there’s more onus on athletes to interact with their fans in the social space, so we at Grosvenor Sport have taken a look at who are the biggest athlete influencers each sport has to offer.

Football

Cristiano Ronaldo

Total Followers: 426.3m

In 2019, Cristiano Ronaldo became the first person in the world to eclipse 200 million followers on Instagram and is reported to earn in the region of $1m for each sponsored post he uploads to his profile. Alongside Lionel Messi as the biggest name in the sport today, Ronaldo boasts over 426m followers across his Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

Cricket

Virat Kohli

Total Followers: 132.05m

Having taken over the mantle as the ‘face of cricket’ in India, Virat Kohli is the captain of the Indian test cricket side and is regarded as one of the top players in the world. The No.1 ranked batsman in ODIs and the No.2 ranked batsman in Tests, Kohli’s status outside of cricket continues to grow as a potential career in politics awaits.

Boxing

Floyd Mayweather

Total Followers: 44.66m

Despite being retired, Floyd Mayweather’s presence on social media is unrivalled by his peers in the sport thanks to his persona away from the ring. Often flaunting his wealth and lifestyle across all of his social channels, Mayweather offers a unique and bespoke insight into the life of a wealthy athlete that doesn’t always rub people the right way.

Tennis

Serena Williams

Total Followers: 28.4m

One of the most dominant athletes in any sport of their generation, Serena Williams is the most-followed Tennis player in the world right now, with over 28 million followers across her social media channels. With 23 Grand Slams to her name, Serena has also made waves as an activist for women’s equality in sport and life.

Golf

Tiger Woods

Total Followers: 11.7m

Still one of the biggest draws in the sport over 20 years on from breaking onto the scene, Tiger Woods has one of the most recognisable name brands in the world of sport. The face of the PGA Tour gaming series for much of the 2000s and 2010s, Woods has over 11 million followers across his social channels.

Darts

Michael van Gerwen

Total Followers: 903k

While Darts isn’t the biggest sport in terms of viewership, especially outside of the UK, Michael van Gerwen is perhaps the sports most transcendent player of the last decade. The No.1 ranked player in the world, MVG is a three-time PDC World Champion has just north of 900,000 followers across his social channels.

Rugby

Dan Carter

Total Followers: 2.62m

The 38-year-old retired from international rugby as the leading point scorer in test matches with 1,598 points, 250 points more than the next player on the list. The New Zealander is widely regarded as the biggest name in the sport and carried on playing until 2019. 

Basketball

LeBron James

Total Followers: 143.8m

The face of the NBA for the last decade, LeBron James is widely regarded as one of the biggest names across all sports. A three-time league NBA champion and a four-time league MVP, LeBron is the face of sports in America and has used his platform to speak out on a number of social issues in the country.

American Football

Odell Beckham Jr

Total Followers: 18.1m

27-year-old Beckham broke onto the scene in 2014 with the New York Giants, posting 1,305 receiving yards in his rookie season. Also adorning the iconic ‘Beckham’ surname, OBJ is one of the sports most recognisable names and explosive playmakers.

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