Today, we will cite 2018 world’s most popular athletes according to ESPN’s most recent research. This is ESPN’s third annual report. And it comes with a funny video.

As we noted last year in highlighting the 2017 report: “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?” And what is their gender?


ESPN World Fame 100: 2018 World’s Most Popular Athletes

According to ESPN:

“This year’s ESPN World Fame 100 is a compilation of some of the biggest names in sports. Here is everything you need to know about our list. From the newcomers to our methodology to some who might have not cracked the Top 100 but are still making an impact. To find the 100 most famous athletes in the world, we started with 600 of the biggest names in sports. Drawn from 67 countries. ESPN’s Sports Analytics Group then ranked those athletes based on a proprietary formula that took into account three fame factors. Google Trend score. Social media following. And endorsement dollars.”

  • By Sport  Soccer, 33; Basketball, 14; Tennis, 11; Cricket, 10. NOTE: Only 7 from U.S. football and 0 from baseball and hockey.
  • By Gender — Male, 88; Female, 12
  • By Country — United States, 31; India, 10; Brazil, 6; China, 5; Spain, 5


Here are the top eight in ESPN’s list.

2018 World's Most Popular Athletes


Now, view this humorous ESPN video.


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