It’s no secret that athletes earn a huge amount of money. In fact, you can even use our athlete salary
calculator to find out how long would it take the richest athletes in the world to earn your salary.
Their earnings aren’t just limited to their actions on the field. Athletes are also public figures, and the followings they generate from their social media accounts provide great opportunities for businesses.
That’s why we wanted to find out which athletes could earn the most money from Instagram posts.
We’ve researched male, female, and college athletes with the biggest followings to find out their estimated earnings per Instagram post.
Male Athletes Who Could Earn the Most per Instagram Post
First up, we looked at some of the male athletes with the biggest followings to find out who could earn the most per Instagram post, here are the findings.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo – $4.73m – $6.40m per Instagram post
The athlete who could earn the most per Instagram post is none other than Cristiano Ronaldo who could earn between $4.7m and $6.4m per sponsored post. It’s not like he needs it though, as the Portuguese superstar recently signed a contract with Al Nassr which has made him the highest-paid football player in the world, earning an estimated €200m per year. Ronaldo also has the most followed account on Instagram.
2. Lionel Messi – $3.78m – $5.12m per Instagram post
In second place is Lionel Messi who could earn anywhere between $3.78m and $5.12m per Instagram post. Although Messi would usually be gutted finishing in second place, he probably won’t mind this time round considering he has just won the World Cup. In fact, his first Instagram post after winning the World Cup became the most-liked post on social media, with over 75 million likes.
3. Virat Kohli – $2.02m – $2.73m per Instagram post
Completing our top three is Virat Kohli who could earn anywhere between $2m and $2.73m per Instagram post. Kohli has been involved with India’s national team since 2008, and is considered one of the best batsmen of all time. The 34-year-old has over 500 matches under his belt, and has a test batting average of just under 50.
Female Athletes Who Could Earn the Most per Instagram Post
1. Ronda Rousey – $141k – $191k per Instagram post
Ronda Rousey takes first place with her estimated earnings anywhere between $141k and $191k. After a successful career in MMA, winning 12 out of 14 fights, Rousey has entered the world of WWE. Her debut in 2018 was labeled by some wrestling critics as the greatest debut ever. Rousey also has a few acting appearances to add to her impressive resume.
2. Serena Williams – $139k – $188k per Instagram post
In second place is Serena Williams, who could earn between $139k and $188k per Instagram post. Williams’ last competitive tennis game was in September in the third round of the US Open, where she was defeated by Ajla Tomljanovic. This hasn’t hurt the illustrious career of the 41-year-old, who has won 73 career titles and over 80% of her matches.
3. Sania Mirza – $95k – $128k per Instagram post
Sania Mirza completes our top three, earning between $94.6k and $128k per Instagram post. Mirza is one of the most influential athletes in India with 44 titles across singles and doubles tennis. Unfortunately, Mirza will retire after the Dubai Tennis Championships in February, ending an incredibly successful career.
College Athletes Who Could Earn the Most per Instagram Post
1. Olivia Dunne – $32k – $43k per Instagram post
Taking the top spot is Olivia Dunne who could earn between $31.9k and $43.2k per Instagram post. Olivia Dunne has over 3 million followers on Instagram, and more than double this on TikTok. The 20-year-old is a gymnast for the LSU Tigers Women’s Gymnast team, representing Louisiana State University.
2. Sunisa Lee – $16k – $21k per Instagram post
Another gymnast makes the top three, with Sunisa Lee in second place. The 19-year-old, who has accumulated 1.7 million followers, could earn between $15.5k and $21k per Instagram post. Despite her age, Lee is already an Olympic gold medalist, where she was the all-round champion at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Lee is part of the Auburn Gymnastics team, who represents Auburn University.
3. Paige Bueckers – $10k – $13k per Instagram post
Completing our top three is Paige Bueckers who could earn between $9.5k and $12.9k per Instagram post. Bueckers is a college basketball player, playing for the UConn Huskies, who represent the University of Connecticut. The 21-year-old had an incredibly successful start to her career, where she won multiple player of the year awards between 2019 and 2021.
For this campaign, we took Sportico’s list of the highest-paid female athletes and highest paid athletes worldwide, NBC’s’ list of the highest-paid athletes worldwide, Statista’s list of the most followed athletes worldwide, Sport 360’s list of the top 100 influential female athletes, and Swaylytics’ lists of the college athletes with the most followers for our initial seeding list.
We then used Instagram to get an updated number of followers, before using In Beat to find the estimated earnings per Instagram post.