Cristiano Ronaldo has shot to the top of Instagram’s annual rich list of celebrities who can charge the most for a sponsored post, with the footballer able to command as much as $1.6m (£1.2m) to endorse a product on social media.
The Portugal captain, who rattled the Euro 2020 sponsor Coca-Cola by removing its drinks from view at a post-match press conference, topped a list that includes the wrestler turned actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and the singer Ariana Grande.
It is the first time the footballer has topped the annual list, which is dominated by US celebrities from the reality TV, film and music industries.
The amount Ronaldo is estimated to be able to charge for a sponsored post climbed significantly last year, almost doubling from $889,000 nel 2019. Ronaldo moved from third place in 2019, leapfrogging the previous list-topper Johnson and the second-ranked Kylie Jenner, the makeup entrepreneur and celebrity.
Ronaldo is the most-followed person on Instagram, con più di 300 million fans, and his combined social media following, including the major platforms Facebook and Twitter, is more than 550 million.
“With the Euros starting earlier this month and a few controversial marketing moves over the last couple of weeks,” Ronaldo’s presence has skyrocketed,” said Mike Bandar, a co-founder of HopperHQ.com, which compiles the unofficial annual list of Instagram’s top earners. “Just a week ago he confirmed his king of Instagram status as he became the most-followed person on the platform.”
The Top 10 list includes only one other sports star, Ronaldo’s arch-rival Lionel Messi, who is ranked seventh and is able to charge almost $1.2m a post.
Six of the top earners are women and include high-profile stars such as Kim Kardashian, Beyoncé, Grande and Selena Gomez. The estimated amount celebrities could charge for a sponsored post climbed considerably last year, partly fuelled by increased online usage as the public sought to alleviate boredom while stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic.
Johnson, the highest-paid actor last year, earning an estimated $87.5m, according to Forbes, saw his paid-for post fee rise by $500,000, while Kardashian’s rose by $560,000.
“As Covid-19 continues to impact all our lives, it appears that Instagram is one of the few places not negatively impacted by the pandemic,” Bandar said. “With people using the app more than ever before, some could say it was inevitable earnings would peak. With ever-growing follower numbers and the sheer amount of exposure each of their posts have, it is no surprise how valuable content from these celebrities can be.”
In December, nine-year-old Ryan Kaji was named the highest-paid YouTuber, earning an estimated $29.5m last year, according to Forbes. Kaji, who makes his millions from “unboxing” and reviewing toys and games on YouTube, has held the title for the last three years. In total, the Top 10 biggest-earning YouTube stars took home $211m in 2020.
HopperHQ compiles the list by analysing factors including average engagement, how often an Instagrammer posts and a range of variables, including follower numbers, to estimate what a celebrity could charge a brand for a sponsored post.
1 Cristiano Ronaldo – $1.6m a post
2 Dwayne Johnson – $1.52m
3 Ariana Grande – $1.51m
4 Kylie Jenner – $1.49m
5 Selena Gomez – $1.46m
6 Kim Kardashian – $1.41m
7 Lionel Messi – $1.16m
8 Beyoncé Knowles – $1.14m
9 Justin Bieber – $1.1m
10 Kendall Jenner – $1.05m