10 Most Famous Athletes in the World

most famous athletes in the world

How is a person’s popularity measured? Is it by the number of people who know or have heard about him? Maybe the frequency of his TV or radio guestings? How about the number of billboards and ads with his face on it? People might have a varying basis for measuring popularity, depending on the industry they are in. Like if you are a business icon, your popularity would probably be measured according to your corporations’ popularity. If you are a politician, your popularity is usually measured through a trust rating survey. When it comes to athletes, ESPN has devised a way to rank the popularity of these sports icons in different fields. Let’s take a look at who are the most famous athletes in the world.

 

Three factors were considered to make up the ESPN popularity formula. They are (1) The athletes’ earnings ON (salary) and OFF (endorsement contracts) the field, (2) Social media followers (Facebook & Twitter), and (3) Google search volume.  Below are the 10 most famous artists in the world who we now also know are the highest earners and most followed too.

 

  1. Tiger Woods

most famous athletes in the world

American Golfer. Christened as Eldrick Tont Woods, he is more popularly known by his nickname Tiger.

Annual Salary: $1M

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Endorsements: $50M

Social Media Followers & Upvotes (Facebook & Twitter Combined): 8.9 M

 

  1. Rafael Nadal

most famous athletes in the world

Spanish Tennis player. 31 years of age, he is ranked world’s no.1 tennis player in the Men’s Singles Tennis Division.

Annual Salary: $ 4.5M

Endorsements: $ 28M

Social Media Followers & Upvotes (Facebook & Twitter Combined): 24.1M

 

  1. Kevin Durantmost famous athletes in the world

29-year-old Forward for the Golden States Warriors. He has won several titles including Most valuable player, Rookie of the Year and has been selected to the NBA All-Star Team on several occasions.

Annual Salary: $ 20.2M

Endorsements: $ 35M

Social Media Followers & Upvotes (Facebook & Twitter Combined): 23.8M

 

  1. Usain Bolt

most famous athletes in the world

Sometimes also called “Lightning Bolt”, Usain is a Jamaican Track & Field player.

Annual Salary: $ Undisclosed

Endorsements: $ 30M

Social Media Followers & Upvotes (Facebook & Twitter Combined): 23.6M

 

  1. Neymar

most famous athletes in the world

Christened Neymar da Silva Santos Junior. He is a 23-year-old Brazilian Soccer player.

Annual Salary: $ 14.7M

Endorsements: $ 17M

Social Media Followers & Upvotes (Facebook & Twitter Combined): 78.5M

 

  1. Phil Mickelson

most famous athletes in the world

Mickelson is another American golfer. He is famous for his left swing though he is right-handed. A World Golf Hall of Famer.

Annual Salary: $ 28M

Endorsements: $ 48M

Social Media Followers & Upvotes (Facebook & Twitter Combined): Undisclosed

 

  1. Roger Federer

most famous athletes in the world

Roger Federer is a Swiss Tennis Player who is currently ranking #2 (next to Rafael Nadal) on the World Tennis Men’s Singles Division.

Annual Salary: $ 9M

Endorsements: $ 58M

Social Media Followers & Upvotes (Facebook & Twitter Combined): 19.3M

 

  1. Lionel Messi

most famous athletes in the world

Messi is an Argentinian Soccer player who plays forward for the Barcelona Soccer team.

Annual Salary: $ 48.5M

Endorsements: $ 22M

Social Media Followers & Upvotes (Facebook & Twitter Combined): Undisclosed

 

  1. LeBron James

most famous athletes in the world

LeBron James is the small forward for the Cleveland Cavaliers. He is now in his second stint with the team and already holding the title for Cavalier’s all-time leading scorer.

Annual Salary: $ 23M

Endorsements: $ 44M

Social Media Followers & Upvotes (Facebook & Twitter Combined): 53.7M

 

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo

most famous athletes in the world

A 32-year-old Portuguese Soccer player who plays for Real Madrid Soccer team. He is the top notcher of ESPN’s latest (2017) most famous athletes in the world list.

Annual Salary: $ 52.2M

Endorsements: $ 27M

Social Media Followers & Upvotes (Facebook & Twitter Combined): 153.5M

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