Highest-earning Athletes on Instagram

Highest-earning Athletes Instagram
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It’s no secret that most athletes earn vast amounts of money, allowing them to live lavish lifestyles with incredibly luxurious homes, sports cars and high-end clothes. And with the money from the Middle East flooding into soccer and golf, sports stars have the potential to earn more than ever before. 

While many of the best athletes in the world already have a considerable salary, they are also likely to rake in the cash through their huge social media followings. This means that when they post on their Instagram, they’ll get paid for it. But which athletes have the largest social media earnings? 

At Spin Genie, when we aren’t being online slots maestros, we’re answering these crucial questions. As such, we’ve researched the top athletes in the world and their salaries; we’ve also studied their follower count on Instagram and their maximum potential Instagram earnings per sponsored post.

Athletes with the Highest Overall Earnings

Top 3 Athletes Highest Overall Earnings

Athletes Highest Overall Earnings Table

1. Cristiano Ronaldo

Overall Earnings (CAD): $314,908,469

Following his second spell at Manchester United, Ronaldo moved to Saudi side Al Nassr, which has seen him become the wealthiest athlete in the world. His current contract with Al Nassr brings in $305,420,004 per year on top of a potential $9,488,465 maximum he can earn from each sponsored Instagram post he makes.

2. Karim Benzema

Overall Earnings (CAD): $297,963,468

Karim Benzema also moved to the Saudi Pro League this summer, with the signing of a huge contract that secured his standing as the second highest-paid athlete in the world. His move to Al-Ittihad has Benzema making $296,792,320 a year, and every sponsored Instagram post can see him make a maximum of $1,171,148.

3. Neymar Jr

Overall Earnings (CAD): $227,722,069

During a chaotic summer transfer window for French side Paris Saint-Germain, they lost Neymar to the Saudi Pro League. PSG received up to £86 million, a huge loss on the £200 million they had paid to Barcelona for the player. The move, however, was much more lucrative for Neymar, as Al Hilal is paying him $224,319,777 a year. Additionally, he can earn up to $3,402,292 for every sponsored post he makes on Instagram.

Canadian Athletes with the Highest Overall Earnings

Top 3 Canadian Athletes Highest Overall Earnings

Canadian Athletes Highest Overall Earnings Table

1. Andrew Wiggins

Overall Earnings (CAD): $36,968,532

Andrew Wiggins comes out as the highest-earning Canadian athlete in our social athlete rich list, with just under $37 million in Canadian dollars annual earnings. The vast majority of this sum comes from his yearly salary as a basketball player for the Golden State Warriors. Wiggins also earns around $35,243 from sponsored Instagram posts he makes.

2. Joey Votto

Overall Earnings (CAD): $33,887,207

Joey Votto, a Canadian baseball player, comes in as the second highest-paid Canadian, with an annual annual earnings of $33.8 million. Playing as a first baseman for the Cincinnati Reds, Votto is paid an annual salary of $33,883,750. He also earns a potential of $3,457 for sponsored posts on his Instagram account.

3. Nathan MacKinnon

Overall Earnings (CAD): $22,432,410

Rounding out the top three highest-earning Canadian athletes on our rich list, we have Nathan MacKinnon. Playing as a centre for NHL team Colorado Avalanche, MacKinnon earns an annual salary of $22.4 million Canadian dollars. Additionally, he can earn up to $5,532 for sponsored posts on Instagram.

Athletes with the Highest Instagram Earnings

Top 3 Athletes Highest Instagram Earnings

Athletes Highest Instagram Earnings Table

1. Cristiano Ronaldo

Maximum potential Instagram Earnings per post (CAD): $9,488,465

Ronaldo, one of the best soccer players of all time, is first for social media earnings. His Instagram account currently has 602 million followers, and he can earn up to $9,488,465 per sponsored post on the platform. Some of the brands that Ronaldo has partnered with include Herbalife, Louis Vuitton, and TAG Heuer. His biggest brand partnership is with Nike; in 2016, he became the third athlete in history to sign a lifetime deal with the brand.

2. Lionel Messi

Maximum potential Instagram Earnings per post (CAD): $7,658,547

Lionel Messi, arguably the best soccer player of all time, has also changed clubs this season with a move to Inter Miami of the Major Soccer League. With 483 million followers on Instagram, he stands to earn up to $7,658,547 for each sponsored social media post. Messi also has some massive brand partnerships, including Pepsi, Mastercard, Budweiser and his biggest one, Adidas, with which he has a lifetime deal.

3. Virat Kohli

Maximum potential Instagram Earnings per post (CAD): $4,066,485

And taking the third spot, we have Virat Kohli, the former captain of the Indian national cricket team and widely regarded as one of the best batsmen in the history of cricket. He has around 257 million followers on Instagram, making him make up to $4,066,485 per sponsored post on the site. Some of Kohli’s biggest brand partnerships are with banking company HSBC, wearables brand Noise and Essilor, a French eye-wear company.

Canadian Athletes with the Highest Instagram Earnings

Top 3 Canadian Athletes Highest Instagram Earnings

Canadian Athletes Highest Instagram Earnings Table

1. Alphonso Davies

Maximum potential Instagram Earnings per post (CAD): $86,887

Alphonso Davies is the Canadian athlete with the biggest potential earnings from social media, making up to $86,887 Canadian dollars for sponsored Instagram posts. Some of the biggest brand partnerships Davies has had include Crocs and an NFT collection released with B-Engaged, ATG Sports and Binance. He has also previously partnered with Nike and video game company Konami.

2. Tristan Thompson

Maximum potential Instagram Earnings per post (CAD): $64,522

Coming in second, we have basketball player Tristan Thompson, who can potentially earn up to just under $65,000 Canadian dollars for sponsored posts on Instagram. Thompson has worked with some huge brands, such as Nike, Beats by Dre and drinks company Mountain Dew.

3. Genie Bouchard

Maximum potential Instagram Earnings per post (CAD): $38,225

The Canadian athlete with the third highest social media earnings is tennis player Genie Bouchard, who earns around $38,225 for sponsored posts on her Instagram. Some of the brands that Bouchard has worked with include New Balance, Aviva Canada and Slinger.

Athletes with the Lowest Instagram Earnings

Top 3 Athletes Lowest Instagram Earnings

Athletes Lowest Instagram Earnings Table

1. Marielle Thompson

Maximum potential Instagram Earnings per post (CAD): $190

Marielle Thompson is a Canadian freestyle skier who won gold and silver medals in the 2014 and 2018 Winter Olympics and has taken first place in the Freestyle World Ski Championships. Despite her sporting achievements, the athlete has a humble following of 9,079 on Instagram, which sees her earn up to $190 for each sponsored post on the social media platform.

2. Kelsey Serwa

Maximum potential Instagram Earnings per post (CAD): $244

Kelsey Serwa is also a Canadian freestyle skier who took gold at the 2018 Winter Olympics ahead of fellow Canadian Marielle Thompson. On Instagram, she currently has 13,000 followers and can earn up to $244 for each sponsored post she makes there.

3. Eliot Grondin

Maximum potential Instagram Earnings per post (CAD): $320

Eliot Grondin, a Canadian Snowboarder who took a silver medal for the snowboard cross at the 2022 Winter Olympics, takes the third spot. With a following of 17,400, he can make around $320 for every sponsored post he makes on Instagram.

Social Athlete Rich List: Sports with the Most Instagram Followers

Most Instagram Followers Sports

Most Instagram Followers Sports Table

1. Soccer

Total Number of Instagram Followers: 2,480,297,900

The sport of soccer has the most followers on Instagram, with almost 2.5 billion followers across the soccer players we researched. Eight of the top 10 most followed athletes on our list were soccer players, with Cristiano Ronaldo being the most followed athlete on Instagram with 602 million followers.

2. Basketball

Total Number of Instagram Followers: 344,832,000

Coming in second place, we have basketball with the third-highest followers on Instagram at more than 344 million. The most followed players on Instagram were Lebron James, Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry, who have built up a total following of 225 million between them.

3. Cricket

Total Number of Instagram Followers: 258,300,000

Cricket takes third place for the sport with the most followers on Instagram, having more than 258 million followers on the platform. The majority of this figure comes from the legendary Virat Kohli, the remaining coming from Australian cricket player Ellyse Perry, the youngest player to represent the women’s Australian national cricket team. Perry is now considered one of the greatest female players to grace the courts.

Social Athlete Rich List: Youngest Athletes

Top Youngest Athletes

Top Youngest Athletes Table

1. Jude Bellingham

Age: 20 | Overall Earnings (CAD): $31,548,755

Jude Bellingham shares the number-one spot for the youngest person to appear on our social athlete rich list in a three-way tie. At just 20 years old, he has already established himself as one of the most promising soccer players in the world. On his Borussia Dortmund debut, he became the club's youngest-ever goalscorer; he has since become a major part of the England national team. He recently made headlines after securing a huge summer move to Real Madrid, where he has six goal involvements in just five appearances. 

1. Emma Raducanu

Age: 20 | Overall Earnings (CAD): $19,894,234

Emma Raducanu shares the title of the youngest person on our social athlete rich list; at just 20 years old, she’s already had an incredibly prestigious tennis career. In July 2022, the Women’s Tennis Association ranked her the 10th best in the world, and she is the former British number one. Additionally, in 2021, she became the first British woman to win a Grand Slam singles title since 1977.

1. Leylah Fernandez

Age: 20 | Overall Earnings (CAD): $1,099,356

Also sharing the top spot, we have another tennis player, Leyla Fernandez, who is also 20. Like Raducanu, she’s also had a glowing early career, having been ranked 13th by the Women’s Tennis Association and a doubles ranking of 20th. Additionally, she finished runner-up in the 2021 US Open, beaten by Emma Raducanu, and won her first WTA Tour title at the 2021 Monterrey Open.

4. Bukayo Saka

Age: 21 | Overall Earnings (CAD): $4,841,653

Coming in third place, we have Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka, widely considered one of the best young soccer players in the world at just 21 years old. He has been named Arsenal's player of the season for both the 2020-21 and 2021-22 campaigns and has won the FA Cup and two FA Community Shields during his Arsenal career. He also made his England senior team debut at 19 years old, placing him within the top 20 youngest England soccer team debutants.

5. Alphonso Davies

Age: 22 | Overall Earnings (CAD): $14,891,993

Alphonso Davies shares the fourth spot; being 22, he’s one of the youngest high-earning athletes in the world. Joining Bayern Munich in 2019, he was part of the squad that won the continental treble in 2019-20, winning the Bundesliga, Champions League and DFB-Pokal Cup; he was also named Bundesliga Rookie of the Year. Since then, the Canadian youngster has won the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich every season.

5. Eliot Grondin

Age: 22 | Overall Earnings (CAD): $27,427

Eliot Grondin, also being 22, shares fourth place. In 2018, Grondin competed in his first Winter Olympics at just 16 years old, becoming the youngest male athlete for Team Canada. In 2022, he would win his first medals at his second Olympics, claiming one silver and one bronze medal.

Social Athlete Rich List: Oldest Athletes

Top Oldest Athletes

Top Oldest Athletes Table

1. Phil Mickelson

Age: 53 | Overall Earnings (CAD): $141,412,240

Phil Mickelson is the oldest athlete on our social athlete rich list at 53 years of age. He has an income of over $141.4 million Canadian dollars, combining his on-field and Instagram earnings. Mickelson has won 45 events on the PGA Tour, including six major championships, three Masters titles and two PGA Championships. His 2021 PGA Championship win saw him become the oldest winner in history, at 50 years old.

2. Tiger Woods

Age: 47 | Overall Earnings (CAD): $20,581,781

The second-oldest athlete on this rich list is another golfer, Tiger Woods, a veritable sports legend. An inductee in the World Golf Hall of Fame, Tiger Woods holds multiple golfing records, is tied first for the most PGA Tour wins and ranks second for the men’s major golf championships. Additionally, it took him just one year after turning pro to become the number one golfer in the world.

3. Floyd Mayweather

Age: 46 | Overall Earnings (CAD): $50,615,596

Floyd Mayweather is the joint third oldest high earner on this social athlete rich list. Mayweather is technically retired but still competes in exhibition fights, such as with Logan Paul. In his professional boxing career, he retired with an undefeated record of 50-0; additionally, he won 15 major world championships.

3. Tom Brady

Age: 46 | Overall Earnings (CAD): $41,192,873

Tom Brady shares the third spot here but also recently retired from American football early in 2023 before turning 46. During his career, he was a central piece for the New England Patriots dynasty from 2001 to 2019. He is regarded as the best quarterback ever and will be eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2028.

Social Athlete Rich List: Nationalities

Top Athletes Nationalities

Athletes Nationalities Table

1. United States

Number of Athletes: 47

Taking the top spot, we have the USA, which has 47 athletes featured in this rich list. Some of those included are undefeated boxing legend Floyd Mayweather, tennis stars and siblings Serena and Venus Williams and quarterback Tom Brady.

2. Canada

Number of Athletes: 34

Canada takes the second spot here, having 34 athletes appear in this rich list. These include soccer stars Alphonso Davies and Kadeisha Buchanan, tennis ace Leylah Fernandez and basketball player Andrew Wiggins.

3. UK

Number of Athletes: 10

And finishing off the top three, we have the UK, which has ten athletes featured in this rich list. Some of those included are phenomenal footballers Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka, tennis sensation Emma Raducanu and Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton.


To begin, we started to build a seed list of the most followed athletes on Instagram using articles from Pledge Sports, Bet MGM and the Toronto Sun, as well as the Forbes “The World’s  Highest-Paid Athletes”.

From there, we used Salary Sport and Spotrac to get the majority of the athlete's salaries. For the athletes who did not have data available from the above, we used WageIndicator and other sources. For Tennis players, we used the WTA and such sources, where possible, to take their earnings for the most recent year. And for Olympic athletes, we used Wage Indicators figures for Gold, Silver and Bronze medalists, taking the wage for the country that each athlete represents. We then allocated the combined wage for each medal earned at the last Olympic games they competed.

We then took the Instagram follower count for each athlete (taken on 22/08/23). We then entered their usernames into the In Beat Instagram Money Calculator (taken 22/08/23) to get their earnings from one sponsored Instagram post. We took the higher number of the estimates to get their maximum potential earnings per sponsored post. 

We also used Wikipedia to get the ages and nationalities of each athlete, as well as noting down the sport in which they play. This allowed us to see which countries had the most athletes, the youngest and oldest high-earning athletes and the sports that have the most followers (by adding up the number of followers for each athlete’s Instagram, grouped into their respective sport).

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V: 1.50.0 All rights reserved. January 2020