The social media accounts of the worlds biggest sports stars are among the biggest and most influential you’ll find online. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo command followers in the hundreds of millions, those followers track every movement of their favourite superstar when they’re not on the pitch. From Conor McGregor to Tony Hawk, the prevalence of sponsored posts and product placement dominates many of these influential social media accounts. To get a sense of how athletes are using their social channels to expand their commercial interest and generate revenue, BetVictor Canada set about studying 40 of the world’s sportsperson Instagram accounts over the past year.
Naturally, an athlete’s social feed is an opportunity to build lucrative revenue streams. It’s estimated that Ronaldo could earn an addition $31 millon per year based on his sponsored posts alone.
Which Athletes are Making Millions from their Followers?
Of all the athletes we looked at, with NFL’s Patrick Mahomes II monetising his content the most, with 48% of post featuring sponsored content. Surprisingly, Cristiano Ronaldo – the most followed sporting Instagram – only features sponsorship on 1 out of 5 posts.
How 40 of the Biggest Sporting Instagram Accounts Monetise their Accounts
Naturally, when it comes to the type of products featuring in sponsored posts, it’s natural that athletes are predominantly pushing ‘sports and fitness’ products. However, most surprising is alcohol sponsorship sits at third in the list, featuring over 100 times across our pool of high-profile athletes. Notably, Sports Betting or Gambling sponsorship only appears twice amongst our selected athletes.