Top 10 Sports Influencers in 2024

Athletes are already celebrities amongst raving sports fans around the world. Many of these athletes are already influential, and already have a large following across their social media profiles.

However, some athletes have taken their social media presence to the next level and are now considered sports influencers through their impactful influence amongst their audience.

What are Sports Influencers?

Sports influencers are athletes, coaches, trainers, commentators, or anyone involved in the sports world that have large social media followings and loyal fans who interact with their content, and are influenced by their opinions, behaviors, and actions.

These influencers utilize their social media profiles to share daily behind-the-scenes content, run brand collaboration campaigns, provide resources or discounts to their audience, etc.

Even though you may recognize many of these sports influencers as well-known athletes, here are the top sports influencers that are leading the way in 2023.

Sports Influencers to Know

Christiano Ronaldo 

Followers – 603M Instagram

Source: Instagram

You probably already know Christiano Ronaldo as a very well-known Portuguese soccer player currently playing for Saudi Pro League team Al-Nassr FC, who has gained a huge social media following for his skill, and charismatic personality.

He has collaborated with a ton of brands including a lifelong deal with Nike. Although Instagram is his main platform, he has a significant following on Facebook and Twitter. From clothing, to fragrance, to food, and drinks, Ronaldo has dabbled in just about every type of brand collaboration.

Ronaldo is already one of the highest paid football players, with a 200 million contract, and is now is also one of the highest-paid influencers, bringing in $47.8 million a year on Instagram alone.

Serena Williams  

Followers – 16.9M Instagram

Source: Instagram

Serena Williams is an American former professional tennis player, and is considered one of the greatest tennis players of all time. Although her tennis career has ended, she continues to influence her audience through brand collaborations, and staying active in the tennis community.

She also has a long-lasting collaboration with Nike, Gatorade, and has her own signature lines from Wilson and headphones from Beats by Dre. Williams has even created her own sports clothing brand, called S by Serena. This account has over 389K on Instagram.

Lebron James

Followers – 158M Instagram

Source: Instagram

Lebron James is known as King James on Instagram, which fits him well. Los Angeles Lakers basketball star has taken advantage of his online presence, and in fact , he is one of the NBA’s highest-paid social media influencers. Business Insider reports that per sponsored Instagram post, James makes more than $300,000. GMC Hummer, Ladder Sport, and Nike are among the top brand he promotes.

Ronda Rousey 

Followers – 17.4M Instagram

Source: Instagram

Ronda Rousey is best known for her professional wrestling talent in WWE and the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Outside of wrestling, she has also been in multiple films and television shows, which has increased her audience beyond the sports world. She has even become a playable character in multiple video games, including RAID: Shadow Legends. Fans can stay updated with Rousey at her official website.

Dwayne Johnson

Followers – 389M Instagram

Source: Instagram

Dwayne AKA ‘The Rock’ is a very well-known actor, film producer, and retired professional wrestler. After retiring from his successful wrestling career, he turned to film, philanthropy, and promoting a healthy lifestyle. The Rock launched “Project Rock” with Under Armour, featuring his own branded athletic clothes. You can find all of Dwayne’s latest collaborations and resources on his website.

Lionel Messi

Followers – 485M Instagram

Source: Instagram

Even if you are not the biggest soccer fan, odds are you know of the name Messi. This Argentine professional soccer player is considered one of the best footballer players of all time. His lengthy career across the world has resulted in a following of over 487 million, just on Instagram. His brand collaborations include a partnership with Apple TV MLS Season Pass, Bitget, Budweiser, and Cirque de Soleil. And of course Adidas, including his own clothing and cleats line. Messi is one of the highest-paid influencers, sitting at $500,000 per post. And with his new sign to Inter Miami FC, his influence will only grow. View Messi’s official store here.

Rahmel Dockery

Followers – 4.1M TikTok

Source: Instagram

Dockery was a wide receiver at Oregon State and he has exploded on TikTok. His social media success started streaming his Video Gameplay on YouTube. He is known as the “Best hands-on TikTok”, where he shows the behind-the-scenes of drills and practices. Dockery has been featured on both House of Highlights and Barstool Sports Instagram accounts. Adidas also signed Dockery to help with social media campaigns.

Jake Paul

Followers – 177.3M TikTok

Source: Instagram

Jake Paul wasn’t always in the sports influencer world, as he started as a Vine star, famous YouTuber, and Disney actor. Things changed in 2017, when he launched his own media company, TeamDom to create an influencer marketing platform. Then in 2018, his amateur boxing career began, but less than a year later he entered the professional boxing world. He used his well-known social media profiles to promote his fights, and personal brand. Paul has even launched multiple other brands including sports betting app, Betr, brand building platform Most Valuable Promotions, and venture capital platform, Anti Fund.

Jenna Bandy 

Followers – 1.3M TikTok

Source: Instagram

Jenna Bandy is a famous basketball player and coach. She is also a social media enthusiast who is well-recognized for sharing her basketball skills and life as a sports enthusiast. Her most followed platforms are TikTok and YouTube, where she is a full-time content creator. Bandy is also the founder of Game ChangeHER, a program to empower and support young female athletes.

Snappy Gimore 

Followers – 2.7M TikTok

Source: Instagram

Eliezer Paul-Gindiri, called Snappy Gilmore across social platforms, is a Nigerian-American Amateur Golfer who is known for his distinctive single-handed golf swing. His abnormal swing gained him a huge social media following and he has continued influencing ever since. Paul-Gindiri created his handle from 1996 comedy Happy Gilmore, which has been sure to bring in more following to his accounts.

Sports influencers are unique because most of them have gained fame due to the sport they have excelled in, but it is when they take their story, guidance, or tips and share them with their audiences.

If you are a company that markets to athletes, having a sports influencer would be an amazing way to market your products. They tend to have great reach and very loyal fanbase. For more information on Influencer Marketing, click the button below:

sophie sophie , 14 February 2024

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