The use of sports players to endorse brands, products and services is nothing new. Companies have been capitalising on sports, tapping into their large organic fanbase for many years. However, due to the rise of social media, top athletes are no longer just considered sports idols or pop-culture celebrities - they are increasingly operating as social media influencers.
Athletes have something most other influencers do not – a direct line of communication with their fans and followers, making partnerships and collaborations a no-brainer for large brands and corporations.
The influence of footballers on social media has been explored before, so intrigued about the biggest rugby players on Instagram, Liverugbytickets.co.uk sought to find out which 2019 global rugby superstars earn the most per post on Instagram.
To carry out the study, Live Rugby Tickets inserted the Instagram handle of 2019’s biggest rugby stars into Influencer Marketing Hub’s Instagram Money Calculator. This estimates how much each player might earn per post on average, on their Instagram account, based on their previous 12 posts up to 8 May, which is when the data was pulled.
The study found that the highest paid rugby player on Instagram is New Zealand’s Dan Carter. He has 910,000 followers, and earns an average of $4,969.25 on average per post (roughly £3,847). Second in the list is fellow Kiwi Sonny Bill Williams, who has 745,000 followers, and earns an average of $4,083.75 per post. Another Kiwi, Quade Cooper, who has 414,000 followers, is third, earning on average $2,270.13 per post.
Australian Nick ‘badger’ Cummins, with 483,000 followers, was fourth, on $1,923 per post. The highest-ranked England player is Sam Burgess. He has 346,000 followers and earns an average of $1,380 per post. The only other players to breach the $1,000-per-post threshold are Ireland’s Brian O’Driscoll (299,000 followers, $1,190 per post); and England’s James Haskell (283,000 followers, $1,126 per post.
Fans of linearity will note with interest that with one exception (Cooper/Cummins), the players earning potential correlates directly with their follower count.