Edited by Tanner Simkins
In the latest edition of Rick Horrow's Sports Business Podcast, Rick interviews LPGA star Lexi Thompson and breaks down the biggest sports business stories of the past week.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo apparently earns more from Instagram than he does from playing soccer for Juventus. The 34-year-old pockets an annual $47.8 million from paid Instagram posts, according to a study by social media firm Hopper HQ on Buzz Bingo. In contrast, his salary at Juventus is reportedly $34 million, according to Goal.com. Ronaldo’s reported income from Instagram makes him the platform’s highest earner, ahead of Lionel Messi and Kylie Jenner. “Ronaldo is the most followed human on Instagram,“ a marketing executive from Hopper told Business Insider. "Companies are paying almost $1 million for posts to access his insane reach.” A quick check revealed that Ronaldo has 186 million Instagram followers, compared with Messi at 133 million and Kylie Jenner at 149 million. And while companies around the world that have shifted large percentages of their marketing budgets to social media influencers are reconsidering that strategy in light of disappointing ROI, clearly those that invest in Ronaldo consider it money well spent.
2. Formula 1 eyes Miami to host its first-ever Grand Prix after reaching an agreement in principle to host a race at Hard Rock Stadium beginning in 2021. The proposed Formula One Miami Grand Prix would see F1 cars navigating a custom-built track around the stadium. Formula One had initially set its sights on a downtown track location, only to scrap the proposal in favor of Hard Rock Stadium, home to the Miami Dolphins, after local opposition. Concerns remain among residents over noise, traffic and pollution, though organizers insist this new location would reduce disruption compared to a downtown race. According to the Miami Herald, Dolphins and stadium owner Steve Ross will cover all race costs, including an expected $40 million custom track. It takes Formula One a step closer to holding a second U.S. race, a long-held ambition for the global motor racing series’ owners, Liberty Media. Since 2012, the sole F1 stop in the U.S. has been the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. A Miami F1 race would have an estimated annual impact of more than $400 million and 35,000 room nights.
3. Twitter partners with Discovery and Eurosport in Europe for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Twitter will bring Eurosport’s coverage of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics to users of the social media platform across Europe. The deal, unveiled at international TV market MIPCOM in Cannes, will see Eurosport publish real-time Olympic Games highlights on Twitter to complement its comprehensive coverage of Tokyo 2020. The sports network will provide 3,500 hours of coverage of the Games on its network, on Eurosport.com, and the Eurosport app. The tie-in will also allow Eurosport to offer Olympic Games advertisers dedicated sponsorship opportunities for Twitter content. The coverage will include highlights from Eurosport’s pre-Games Road to Tokyo coverage, extensive event highlight clips, as well as live coverage of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Twitter will also sell in-stream sponsorships together with Discovery and Eurosport sales teams. This opens a door for similar sponsorship opportunities through the Olympics and different social media players in North America.