TOP MOST FAMOUS AND Popular Athletes PLAYERS
In order to produce its World Fame 100 list, the media giant used three metrics to determine popularity:
Search score (how frequently is a player’s name typed into search engines on the internet?)
Endorsements (how much money has the athlete generated from his or her own brand value?)
Social media followers (how many millions of followers does the athlete have on his or her biggest social media channel?)
Once all of these factors were taken into acccount, ESPN was able to whittle the 600 strong list down to a top 100.
Scroll down to see the 18 most famous athletes in the world, ranked in ascending order:
14. Conor McGregor. The UFC fighter is renowned for his work in mixed martial arts, but the Irishman only fought once last year — and it was in a boxing ring rather than a UFC octagon. McGregor’s loss to Floyd Mayweather made him $100 million richer, and his alleged attack on a UFC team bus last month made him even more infamous.
13. Sun Yang. Chinese swimmer Yang is a gold medal magnet and his performances in 2017 continued to attract titles. His highest social media profile has 32 million followers and he was the only athlete to grace the 2017 Forbes China Celebrity List.
12. Jordan Spieth. The American golfer is “the real deal,” according to ESPN. Last year was a standout period for Spieth as he won The Open, a victory that ensured he had won three of golf’s four majors at 23 years old.
11. Rory McIlroy. The US Masters continues to elude McIlroy’s grasp as it is the only golf major he has not yet won. The Northern Irish athlete has made $35 million in endorsements so far and turns 30 next year.