Usain Bolt the 7th most popular athlete worldwide – ESPN

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Superstar world and Olympic multiple champion Usain Bolt is now the seventh most popular athlete in the world, as defined by the ESPN World Fame 100 rankings.

Climbing from 15th spot last year, Bolt’s jump has largely been influenced by an endorsement deal worth US$30 million, and a combined social media following of 30 million (19 million on Facebook, 6.4 million on Instagram and 4.6 million on Twitter).

The rankings are based on a formula that is used by Ben Alamar, ESPN’s director of analytics. The formula combines endorsements with social media following and Internet search popularity to create the world fame 100 rankings.

The top spot on the list is held by Real Madrid and Portugal striker Cristiano Ronaldo, who leads the way with endorsement amounting to US$32 million.

This is while he is followed on Facebook by 118.1 million, with 93 million on Instagram and 50 million on Twitter.

Completing the top five are LeBron James, Lionel Messi, Roger Federer and Phil Mickelson.

Also in the top 10 alongside Bolt are Neymar, Kevin Durant, Rafael Nadal and Tiger Woods.

A number 13, India’s Virat Kohli is the highest ranked cricketer, while American MMA fighter Ronda Rousey is the highest placed woman at 16th.