- LeBron James, Steph Curry and Russell Westbrook are the top three most influential NBA players on social media
- LeBron could earn a massive $310,673 per sponsored post on his Instagram
- Kevin Durant, Giannis, and Chris Paul are also among the top social media earners
New research shows that some of the most famous NBA stars could be earning big from their social media posts.
The study, conducted by odds comparison experts Sidelines.io, analysed the Instagram follower counts and engagement rates of the biggest NBA stars* to see who could be earning the most per sponsored post. The engagement rate refers to the percentage of a person’s followers that actively interact with their social media posts.
Despite not being in the top 10, to be 13th after just two seasons in the league is impressive. LaMelo currently has over 8.4 million followers, an engagement rate of 7.5% and could be earning up to $22,235 on each post. With Lonzo up at 5th, it gives an idea of where Melo's ceiling might be in the coming years as one of the premier influences in the NBA. To learn more about the rest of the top 10, keep reading.
LeBron James was the biggest earner on the list due to his huge 117 million followers on Instagram, which, combined with his 1.4% engagement rate, means that he could be earning around $310,673 for every sponsored post on the platform. LeBron’s follower count is more than double anyone else on the list, highlighting his global influence, as well as each one of his posts on the platform averaging more than two million likes.
Next on the list is Steph Curry, with 41,214,879 followers and an engagement rate of 1.42%, meaning he could earn around $109,212 per sponsored Instagram post. Curry’s brand partnership page with Under Armour has also seen some influence on the social media platform, with the Curry Brand page amassing more than 318,000 followers since its introduction in late 2020.
Russell Westbrook comes in third place on the list, with a follower count of 19,340,800 and an engagement rate of 0.93%, meaning he could receive around $51,251 for every sponsored Instagram post. His page also amasses an average of 180,000 likes per post.
Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant also makes the top ten, placing in sixth. His 12,536,481 followers and 5.04% engagement rate mean he could be earning around $33,967 for every sponsored Instagram post. KD also has the highest engagement rate on the list with 5.04% and is known for his frequent social media use among other NBA stars.
Sitting just behind in seventh place is Giannis Antetokounmpo, with 11,147,494 followers and a 3.01% engagement rate meaning the Greek star could see earnings of around $32,807 for every sponsored Instagram post.
Chris Paul makes the top ten, coming in tenth place. With a follower count of 10,776,325 and despite having the lowest engagement rate in the top ten with 0.32%, he could still be earning around $29,432 for every sponsored post on his Instagram.
In the top ten, the Lakers have two entries with Westbrook and Lebron, the Golden State Warriors have two with Klay Thompson and Steph Curry and the Nets have Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
Commenting on the findings, a spokesperson from Sidelines.io said: “It’s fascinating to see the appeal and influence of some of the league’s top players, and the fact they could be making big bucks off the court as well as on it. With Lebron becoming the first NBA player to reach 100 million followers late last year, it highlights the potential for further global outreach of the NBA with many of his followers being across the globe.”