The 10 Most Popular Athletes in Sport

At PledgeSports, we help athletes and teams from every sport known to man woman or child raise money and attract sponsorship through our sports crowdfunding platform.  We also have a very keen interest in sports trivia and if sport were a popularity contest then these 10 would win.  Let’s see what makes the most popular athletes in sport so loved around the world.

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Tiger Woods – Golfer

tiger woods golf sports

Endorsements – $50 M

Instagram Followers – 960K

Facebook Followers – 3 Million

Twitter Followers – 6.3 Million

At 21, he was the no.1- ranked golfer in the world. By the age of 30, he had 10 majors to his name and was on route to surpass the great Jack Nicklaus. He has more career wins that anyone but still is four majors short of Jack.  Even with his turbulent personal life and recent injuries, he’s still one of the best and most popular athletes in sport today.

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Rafael Nadal – Tennis Player


Endorsements – $32

Instagram Followers – 4.1 Million

Facebook Followers – 14.7 Million

Twitter Followers – 15  Million

Nadal is the King of Clay, with a record 10 Roland Garros titles to his name. He has surpasses 80 million dollars in career earnings alone, Nadal is one of the most popular athletes in sport and the current no.1 in tennis.

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Kevin Durant – Basketball Player


Endorsements – $37 M

Instagram Followers – 9 M

Facebook Followers – 10.5 M

Twitter Followers – 17.3  Million

Kevin Durant is 4-time NBA scoring champion. His recent move from Thunder to the Warriors sent major shockwaves in the basketball community. Durant is 3rd in the last of worldwide jersey sales only behind Steph Curry and LeBron James.

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Usain Bolt – Sprinter


Endorsements – $30M

Instagram Followers – 7.8 M

Facebook Followers – 19 M

Twitter Followers – 5  Million

I guess being the fastest human on the planet and probably ever will attract major popularity. However, Bolts cool persona off the track also boosts his fame. He was won a remarkable 8 Olympic gold medals in the 100 metre sprint, 200-metre sprint and also the 4×100 metre relay.

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Neymar Jr. – Soccer Player

Paris Saint-Germain F.C. - Neymar Jr Press Conference

Endorsements – $23M

Instagram Followers – 85 M

Facebook Followers – 60 M

Twitter Followers – 35.7  Million

Of course Neymar’s huge move to PSG this summer was a major talking point, the brazilian sealed a record dealing move to the French giants after leaving a remarkable legacy behind him at the Camp Nou. He is a man who loves his fashion and appears to be very popular both off and on the pitch. His social media following convey this.

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Phil Mickelson – Golfer


Endorsements – $50M

Instagram Followers –  0 M

Facebook Followers – 0 M

Twitter Followers – 0  M

I guess Big Phil is a old school athlete when it comes to the new digital age of social media. He has no accounts to aid his popularity, but Phil is a 5-time major champion and has dominated the golfing world for decades now. He is the money man of golf, in 2016 he was said to be worth over $375 million.

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Roger Federer – Tennis Player


Endorsements – $60 M

Instagram Followers –   4.1 M

Facebook Followers – 14 M

Twitter Followers – 10.8  M

Federer is the most successful male tennis player of all-time, with the most Grand Slam single titles (18) and final appearances (28). He was no.1 in the world for 302 weeks, the record still stands today. His persona off the court is fantastic, Federer is a true gentleman and legend in the sport of tennis. We won’t see a player of his calibre again, making the GOAT one of the most popular athletes in sports today.

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Lionel Messi – Soccer Player



Endorsements – $28 M

Instagram Followers –   84.2 M

Facebook Followers – 89 M

Twitter Followers – 0  M

Lio Messi remains the greatest current soccer player and one of the greatest to ever play the game. He is a man of skill, agility and pace. As Per Guardiola once said –  “Don’t write about him, don’t try to describe him. Just watch him”. He is an absolute magician on the field and a global superstar off it.

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Lebron James – Basketball Player


Endorsements – $55 M

Instagram Followers –   34 M

Facebook Followers – 23 M

Twitter Followers – 39.8  M

Lebron James is 32 years old and still dominating the basketballing world. He has been described as a hero and a villain. Many Cleveland fans were upset when he left for the Miami Heat in 2010 but he returned back to Cleveland 4 years later and played a crucial part in the Cav’s first NBA championship. He is regarded as one of the best basketballers ever and is ever chasing the legend that is Michael Jordan.

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Cristiano Ronaldo – Soccer Player


Endorsements – $32 M

Instagram Followers –   116 M

Facebook Followers – 122 M

Twitter Followers – 65.4  M

He leads the way as the most popular athlete in sport. Ronaldo is not just a football icon but a massive brand. He is globally recognised and at the age of 32 he has still many years to grow is fantastic legacy. He helped Real Madrid to another Champions League victory in 2016 and also lifted the Ballon D’or. Ronaldo is one the greatest goal scorers the game has seen and will ever see. He continued battle against Messi to the worlds greatest is something that we may never witness again.

The most popular sports in the world


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