ESPN has finally released its list of the World’s most famous athletes.
Their director of sports analytics developed a formula that combines salary, endorsements, social media following and Google search popularity to find out who’s the best of the best.
Surprising no one (well maybe Americans,) Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo is ranked as number one. Ronaldo raked in nearly $80 million last year and his hefty following on social media also adds to his popularity. Coming in at number 2 is none other than the King, LeBron James. Bron Bron’s been a premiere player in the NBA for over 10 years and his ability to dominate the floor is the reason why. His decision to return to the Cavaliers has helped his brand as he looks to finally get a ring for the ‘Land. His endorsements are staggering as well, which scored him $44 million last year. The Cavs are paying him half of that for his actually salary.
The top 5 is rounded out by soccer players Lionel Messi and his Barcelona teammate Neymar and tennis great Roger Federer. Kevin Durant somehow scored a spot as number 6 on the list and despite Tiger Woods‘ recent play on the green, he’s number 7. Elsewhere on the roundup are Kobe Bryant, Usain Bolt—and the first woman isn’t mentioned until Maria Sharapova at 18, who surprisingly beat out Serena Williams.
Despite Steph Curry having a record-breaking season, it seems his popularity only ranked him as 34, right behind Cam Newton and Dwyane Wade.Check out the entire list here, and see if some of you favorite athletes made the list.
SOURCE: ESPN | IMAGE CREDIT: Getty, Twitter