Forbes have published their annual look at the world’s 100 highest-paid athletes, with boxer Floyd Mayweather once again finishing top of the list with an eye-opening $105 million in earnings in 2013.
And in second place? Football star Cristiano Ronaldo, with $80 million. But Ronaldo has Mayweather and every other athlete’s number in one increasingly important metric in global branding: social media followers.
Collectively across Facebook and Twitter, Ronaldo has 110 million fans, ten times Mayweather’s total. Indeed, football stars dominate social media, with Lionel Messi (57 million), Neymar (34 million) and Wayne Rooney (29 million) also boasting significant followings, and football has some 337 million fans on social media overall – more than every other major sport combined.