Ronaldo makes more as an influencer than as a footballer

Sean Keum
Sean Keum
Dec 21, 2019 · 3 min read

Stan World is a virtual realm full of virtual resorts. Stars and brands can own and operate resorts, and users have the freedom to experience those platforms, including concerts, malls, and theme parks. Virtual resorts are essentially Stan World’s definition of how media franchises expand through digital platforms.

This is the 7th entry of an ongoing series of analyses of stars and brands that went through major changes into the digital age, to achieve greater success: Fanthropology — The Study of Fans and IP’s (Stars and Brands).

Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the highest-paid athletes in history. His annual salary from Juventus F.C. is an estimated $34 million, which is a substantial decrease compared to those from his days at Real Madrid C.F., but still a hefty sum.

Ronaldo’s salary excludes other sources of income, including winnings from competitions and endorsements, such as Nike and Herbalife. With everything combined, Ronaldo’s net income equates to approximately $108 million a year.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Instagram Star

What this total doesn’t include is the additional income from social media. Ronaldo is the highest-paid influencer on Instagram — he makes $47.8 million per year on the platform. That’s $975,000 per paid post. This is far more than the $34 million from Juventus and adds almost half of his yearly earnings.

This is influencer marketing at its finest, and this form of marketing is more important than ever in today’s world. Influencer marketing helps reach Millenials and successive age groups (Gen Z), promotes greater efficiency in connecting with consumers and results in a higher return on investment (ROI). Younger generations are 54% more likely to purchase products endorsed by influencers.

Take a look at Ronaldo’s lifelong deal with sportswear giant Nike, that will net him an estimated $1 billion over the course of his life. Is this a good deal for Nike? It definitely is — much more than good, if truth be told. In 2016 alone, Nike was either referenced or its logo was shown in 347 of Ronaldo’s Instagram posts, resulting in 477 million interactions and $499.6 in media value for the sporting company. In 2018, Ronaldo’s social media activity generated $474 million. At this rate, Nike would make back the $1 billion it owes Ronaldo in a mere 2 years, so this deal is a no-brainer.

Stars = Influencers = Money Makers

This is the momentum stars and influencers carry today. Monetization potential isn’t limited to one’s prowess as an actor or actress, or football or basketball skills — social networking, community outreach, and interaction with fans are equally as important.

The dynamics of marketing are rapidly changing, and Ronaldo’s case shows just how much more value can be created through social media influencers. Instead of dropping dimes on commercials like the old days, companies can focus on influencers, whom the public actually cares about, to promote their products on behalf. Influencer marketing is an opportunity that all future-prospective companies cannot afford to miss.

A Bridge that Connects Influencers and Fans

Everyone knows that there is no better way to connect with fans than through social media platforms. The last decade of the internet has proven enough its effect. So we introduce a new social platform, one that will connect stars and brands to their fans in an even greater effect.

Stan World offers virtual resorts owned by stars and brands, an all-in-one hub for everything related to fan activity. The spectrum of social media as we know it is nearing its end, and a new, immersive, and engaging experience is coming. This is the next evolution for stars and brands — find out more on our website.

Stan World


Sean Keum

Written by

Sean Keum

Psychologist, Researcher at Stan World

Stan World


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