Deportivo Alaves v FC Barcelona - La Liga
Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona during the prematch warm up prior to the La Liga match between Deportivo Alaves and FC Barcelona at Estadio de Mendizorroza on July 19, 2020 in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain.
Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

The Pro Athletes Who Make the Most Money on Instagram, Revealed

Many of the biggest names in the game are soccer players

The life of an influencer can be a complicated one. For some, there are the logistics of travel to consider — or at least a reasonable facsimile of it. For others, there’s the question of making money, and the ever-more-blurry line between influencers and celebrities. But for other influencers, their influence is simply a part of who they are. And while you might not be up to speed on the latest Instagram-famous personality, you’ll probably recognize names like LeBron James and Lionel Messi.

In a new article at LuxuryLaunches, Neha Tandon Sharma explores what some of the world’s top names in sports get paid for sponsored posts on Instagram. It’s little surprise that the bulk of the list is comprised of soccer players — some, like Messi and Gareth Bale, are currently playing, while others like David Beckham and Ronaldinho have retired from the game but maintain a sizable presence in the hearts and minds of fans.

All told, 8 of the 10 spots on the list are held by soccer players. The two exceptions? LeBron James and cricket player Virat Kohli.

At the top of the list is Cristiano Ronaldo, who can command $889,000 for a sponsored post. By comparison, that’s over 4 times what you’d have to pay Gareth Bale or Zlatan Ibrahimovic for a post; each of them charges $200,000. (The article doesn’t specify whether Bale is willing to offer a discount for golf-related promotions.)

The world of influencers might seem like its own rarefied community, but as this article suggests, what constitutes an influencer is a matter of debate. It might well be someone you watch play for their team week in and week out.

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