A number of athletes are celebrities and well-known around the globe. Why does matter from a marketing perspective? Companies pay huge endorsement fees to have these athletes promote their products — from sports equipment to sports apparel to energy drinks and to a whole lot more.
There are many interesting questions in terms of the top celebrity athletes, such as: Which sports do they represent? Which countries are their home bases?
Recently, ESPN produced its second annual “ESPN World Fame 100 rankings.” ESPN’s director of analytics, Ben Alamar, came up with a formula that combines endorsement income with social media following and Internet search popularity:
- Of the top 100 athletes in the world fame ratings, 38 play soccer (known as football outside the U.S.), 13 play basketball, 11 play golf, 10 play tennis, and 8 play American football. Twenty other sports are also represented; but NONE of the top 100 is a baseball player.
- Thirty-five athletes are from the U.S., 9 from Brazil, 7 from Germany, 5 from England, 4 from India, and 4 from Spain. Thirty-six other countries are also represented in the list.
- Among the top 100 athletes, 92 are male and 8 are female.
- The top 5 endorsers each earned at least $36 million in the most recent year studied.
- Ronaldo, the Portuguese soccer superstar, has more than 260 million followers on social media.
Click the image below to see the ESPN top 100 and a lot more interesting data.