Social Media is a platform for communication. But for a famous few, it is a source of unimaginable income. Here is Sports’ Instagram Rich List…
With the world changing and digitalising by the day, social media platforms have a better influence on the coming generations than any other. The modern buzzword in marketing is Influencer Marketing. The brands utilise scalable “word of mouth publicity” through people (influencers) who attract mass consumer attention and influence buying decisions. This form of marketing is executed using social media influencers as a platform. Influencers can be anyone having a significant following on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Using sportspersons as the influencer has its unique advantages, including free and continuous exposure through the leagues in which they play apart from the franchises they represent. Their fan following also includes die-hard sports fans who are looking for every small detail to copy. This kind of exposure is absent in any other categories of influencers and brands leverage it for a stronger connection with the consumers.
The social media platform, Instagram is in extensive use by the brands to gain value from influencer marketing. According to a list released by Hopper HQ, a social media planner website, here are the top 10 Instagram rich athletes in the world. Expectedly, the list features 8 footballers in the top 10, owing to the immense following of football across the globe. With a staggering 38.5 Million followers (as of 31 July 2019) on the platform, Indian Cricketer Virat Kohli is the only Indian and only cricketer in the whole list of 16, published by the platform. Here is the full list followed by details of the athletes and their Instagram.
|Rank||Player||Sport||Followers||Cost per post (INR)|
|1||Cristiano Ronaldo||Football||177M||Rs 6.74 crore|
|2||Neymar||Football||123M||Rs 4.98 crore|
|3||Lionel Messi||Football||127M||Rs 4.47 crore|
|4||David Beckham||Football||57.6M||Rs 2.46 crore|
|5||LeBron James||Basketball||50.8M||Rs 1.88 crore|
|6||Ronaldinho||Football||47.4M||Rs 1.77 crore|
|7||Gareth Bale||Football||40M||Rs 1.5 crore|
|8||Zlatan Ibrahimovic||Football||37.6M||Rs 1.38 crore|
|9||Virat Kohli||Cricket||38.5M||Rs 1.35 crore|
|10||Luis Suarez||Football||34.5M||Rs 1.27 crore|
With 34.5 Million followers (as of 31 July 2019), Uruguayan professional footballer Luiz Suarez ranks 10th in the Instagram sport rich list. He plays as a striker for the Spanish club Barcelona and the Uruguay National Football team. Suárez has managed to win 18 trophies in his career, including six league titles and a Copa América with Uruguay. The prolific goalscorer also has two European Golden Shoes, an Eredivisie Golden Boot, a Premier League Golden Boot to his name.
Virat Kohli is an Indian Cricketer, a top-order batsman and captain of Indian Cricket Team and Royal Challengers Banglore in the IPL. One of the most prolific run scorer’s of all-time, Virat is the holder of plenty of record in the history of cricket. He ranks 2nd in both Instagram following and earning Indian behind Priyanka Chopra. With a following of 38.5 Million followers, Kohli ranks 9th in the list.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a Swedish professional footballer and primarily a striker. He plays as the forward for LA Galaxy. Best known for his technique, Zlatan has a knack of showcasing creativity in the air with his powerful and accurate striking ability. With 31 trophies, he is currently the third-most decorated active footballer in the world. In fact, he has over 520 senior career goals for club and country in his tally. With 37.6 M Instagram followers, Ibrahimovic ranks 8th in the list.
Gareth Frank Bale is a Welsh footballer who plays as a winger for the Wales national team and Spanish club Real Madrid. Famous for his long-distance ball-striking ability, pace and swerving free kicks, Bale is described by his peers as a footballer with “tremendous speed, great crossing ability, a great left foot and exceptional physical qualities”. With 40.7 Million Instagram followers, Bale ranks 7th in the list.
Ronaldinho is a retired Brazilian footballer and the ambassador for Spanish football club Barcelona. In his 20 years long career, he mostly played as an attacking midfielder but was also deployed as a winger. Along with the Brazilian national team, he played the bulk of his career at European clubs Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and A.C. Milan. One of the best players of his generation, Ronaldinho has two FIFA World Player of the Year awards as well as a Ballon d’Or. In fact, he is among the only seven players in the history of football to have won a FIFA World Cup, UEFA Champions League and a Ballon d’Or. With 47.4 Million Instagram followers, Ronaldinho ranks 6th in the list.
LeBron James is the only Basketball player in the list with a massive following of 50.8 Million on Instagram. The American Basketball legend is the most achieved player of the decade and stands in the conversation of best in the NBA going into his 17th year in the league. A social media-friendly personality, LeBron James has been the face of the NBA for more than a decade now.
David Beckham is a former English footballer and the current president of Inter Miami CF. Apart from the England national team, he played for Manchester United, Real Madrid, Preston North End, Milan, LA Galaxy, Paris Saint-Germain. In fact, he is the first English player to win league titles in 4 countries namely, England, Spain, the United States and France. After a 20-year-long illustrous career, David retired in May 2013 with 19 major trophies to his name. With an Instagram following of 57.6 Million, Beckham ranks 4th on the list.
Lionel Messi is an Argentine professional footballer, plays as a forward and the captain of both the Argentina national team and FC Barcelona. Arguably the greatest players of all time, Messi has a record five Ballon d’Or awards (4 consecutive) and a record six European Golden Shoes. Being an integral part of FC Barcelona for his entire professional career, he has won a club-record 34 trophies, including ten La Liga titles, six Copas del Rey and four UEFA Champions League titles. With an unreal following of 127 Million Instagram followers, Messi ranks 3rd in the list.
One of most talented stars of the sport, Neymar is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays at forward for the Brazil national team and French club Paris Saint-Germain. He is known for his dribbling, pace, finishing and ability to play with both feet. Neymar led the Brazil national football team to their first Olympic gold medal in men’s football at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics in front of the home crowd. With a considerable following of 123 Million on Instagram, Neymar ranks 2nd in the list.
Cristiano Ronaldo is a Portuguese footballer and plays forward for Italian club Juventus. He is the captain of both the Portugal national team and Juventus. Ronaldo has a record-tying five Ballon d’Or awards. In his career, he has won 29 major trophies including six league titles, and five UEFA Champions Leagues. Ronaldo has a record 126 goals in the UEFA Champions League. In fact, he has over 700 senior career goals to his name playing for the clubs and Portugal. With the out of world following 177 Million followers on Instagram, he has the most followed account on Instagram apart from Instagram itself. Ronaldo tops the list with a staggering pay of $975,000 per post on Instagram. As a result, this makes the Portugese the best paid athlete on this list. He has the third most paid account on Instagram behind only Kyle Jenner and Ariana Grande.