The Most Followed Athletes on Twitter

Social networks have proven to be the best channel for the promotion of athletes and their communication with fans. With each day we are discovering new ideas that can improve this way of self-promotion and make it easier to establish the connection with targeted groups.

The world’s best athletes are serious about the opportunities offered to them and they realized the power behind social media networks. Almost every athlete has a profile on at least one of them, but in this article, we’ll focus on the most popular athletes on Twitter. We’ll take a look at five of them with the most followers and show some interesting facts in this story.

“When people come to Twitter and they want to express something in the world, the technology fades away. It’s them writing a simple message and them knowing that people are going to see it.” – Jack Dorsey, co-founder and CEO of Twitter.

Few facts about Twitter

Twitter was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone, Evan Williams and Noah Glass. This social networking service was launched in July 2006. According to the latest information, Twitter has about 317 million active users with a total number of approximately 1.3 billion registered users. It is important to emphasize that 67 million monthly active users are coming from the USA and that is approximately 21%.


The first ever Tweet was sent by Dorsey on 21 March 2006. Today this network has grown to such a level that the most popular person on Twitter has 94.1 million followers. That honor belongs to a female singer Katy Perry. Speaking of athletes, the absolute winner is Cristiano Ronaldo, Portuguese professional footballer and the biggest star of Real Madrid.

million active Twitter users

million monthly active users are coming from the USA

Top 5 Most Followed Athletes on Twitter:

1. Cristiano Ronaldo – 48M

2. LeBron James – 33.5M

3. Neymar – 26.1M

4. Kaka – 26.1M

5. Kevin Durant – 15.1M

Ronaldo can boast of the fact that he has more than 48 million followers. With that being said he has the advantage of almost 15M in front of runner-up LeBron James (33.5M). The third position is taken by the Brazilian who plays in Barcelona – Neymar da Silva Santos Junior (26.1M). In fourth place is another Brazilian footballer – Ricardo Kaka. 2007 FIFA World Player of the Year has approximately 26.1M followers, yet he is few tens of thousands short in comparison to his fellow countryman. The last position of this top 5 list belongs to Kevin Durant, a professional basketball player currently playing for the Golden State Warriors with 15.1M followers.

It’s interesting how Ronaldo, as the athlete with the most followers, is actually the least active of five names when speaking about Tweets (2,725). The absolute leader in this category is Neymar with 48.8K. On the other hand, James is the owner of the oldest account (joined April 2009), while Durant is the one who is following the most pages / accounts (1,457).

“There are people out there who hate me and who say I’m arrogant, vain and whatever. That’s all part of my success. I am made to be the best.” – Cristiano Ronaldo


Looks like the most popular “Twitter athletes” are coming from football and basketball. With the growing number of Twitter users, their fanbase is getting bigger by each day on this news and social network service. In this article, we focused on top 5 accounts, but if we picked the top 20, the domination of football players would be even more conspicuous. It’s nothing to be surprised about, at the end, we are talking about the most popular sport in the world.


Nikola Popović

Nikola Popović

Overtime Sports Marketing

If you have any questions about sports marketing, feel free to contact me at

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