One easy measure of an athlete’s popularity is the amount of social media followers he or she has. It’s a quantifiable measure of a star’s fans.
Not surprisingly, athletes have learned how to cash in on that celebrity, making money for social media posts. The bigger the name and the more followers, the higher rate of pay.
GOBankingRates looked at the top athletes on the Sports Social Media Richlist from BonusFinder.com, picking out some of the best-known athletes.
The top of the overall list is heavy on soccer, with 20 of the top 22 players from that sport. That makes sense since they are usually international stars.
- Pay per post: $1,247,157
The Juventus striker, one of the greatest soccer players in the world, is also the most followed man in the world on Instagram, with 274 million followers.
- Pay per post: $873,495
Ronaldo’s rival for the title of greatest soccer player in the world, Lionel Messi is far behind him in the amount he’s paid per post. However, with 195 million followers, Messi is good for second on this list.
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- Pay per post: $379,485
The first U.S. athlete on the list is four-time NBA champion LeBron James. He’s the preeminent star of one of the league’s most high-profile teams, the Los Angeles Lakers, and he has 81.9 million Instagram followers.
- Pay per post: $316,399
International soccer superstar David Beckham retired in 2013, but he’s still a huge draw on social media, with 65.7 million Instagram followers.
- Pay per post: $157,714.50
NBA superstar Stephen Curry has 33.2 million followers, and he’s No. 2 in pro basketball in how much he’s paid per post. As a side note, his wife, Ayesha Curry, is no slouch with 7.3 million followers.
Odell Beckham Jr.
- Pay per post: $69,394.38
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is the first athlete who doesn’t play soccer or NBA basketball on the Sport Social Media Richlist 2021. The receiver has 14.3 million Instagram followers.
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- Pay per post: $62,115.25
The first female athlete on the list is no surprise, as Serena Williams is easily the most well-known women’s athlete in the world. Winning 23 Grand Slam titles will do that for you. Williams has 13 million Instagram followers.
- Pay per post: $57,262.49
Kevin Durant is considered one of the best players in the NBA, and he has a stellar following of 11.8 million on Instagram. Of course, we’re not counting any possible burner accounts — Durant is known to have more than one Twitter account, so who knows about Instagram?
- Pay per post: $50,468.64
Rafael Nadal, whose 20 Grand Slam titles are tied with Roger Federer for the most in men’s tennis history, tops his longtime rival in Instagram followers (10.5 million to 8.1 million).
- Pay per post: $44,645.34
Alex Morgan, the U.S. women’s soccer superstar, is the second-highest ranked female on the list. She has 9.2 million followers.
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