With the Women’s World Cup in full swing over in France, brands may look to some of the event’s biggest athletes to partner with to be brand ambassadors. Which athletes are best for which brands and their sponsorship objectives can be found in the numbers. Here we examine the most followed athlete from 5 of the top teams favored to win the tournament: England, France, Germany, Japan, & the USA. The 5 players in consideration are Alex Morgan (USA), Melanie Leupolz (Germany), Mana Iwabuchi (Japan), Eugénie Le Sommer (France), and Toni Duggan (England).

Brand Objective: Reach A Broad Audience

If a brand is looking for the most exposure, they can look no further than Alex Morgan as an influencer. Alex Morgan dominates all other athletes in the competition in terms of number of followers. Morgan has 12,794,322 total followers, that is more than the rest of the top ten most followed players combined. See her Social Scorecard below.

It is clear that if a brand wants to reach the most people, Alex Morgan is the best option. It is also important to note that Japan’s most followed player, Mana Iwabuchi, has actually lost followers in the last 3 months leading up to the World Cup. Iwabuchi has lost 1,853 followers since March 1st, all of them from twitter because that is the only social media account she has. Morgan has gained the most new followers with 259,238 new followers in the same time span. However, Morgan already has a myriad of partnerships, including Nike, Beats, Coca-Cola, AT&T and others. With such a high following and engagement numbers, Morgan commands the attention of huge brands. For brands with smaller budgets available, there are other ways to achieve their objectives.

Brand Objective: Engaging a Core Group of Fans

While Morgan wins the followers category by a landslide, it is also important to have the most engaged fans in order to maximize a possible sponsorship. Morgan does not have the most engaging posts as determined by engagement ratio. This is not too surprising as she has so many followers, it is harder to continuously keep a high number of them always engaged. The highest engagement ratio among top athletes from these 5 major teams is Melanie Leupolz of Germany, who also happens to have the least followers of the five athletes.

Leupolz has a 1.8% engagement ratio on her posts with 87% of her engagements coming from her 37 Instagram posts. Leupolz has 228,430 followers, far less than Morgan’s 12M+. Alex Morgan actually has the second worst engagement ratio of these 5 players, her 0.45% engagement ratio is only better than Mana Iwabuchi of Japan who has a 0.33% ratio. Leupolz is doing a good job keeping her fans engaged, but that really only matters for brands if their brand is being promoted effectively in those posts, for that we need to evaluate the athletes promotional effectiveness score, which we will do in a post coming up next week.

The Athletes Compared

From the above graphic, we are able to confirm that Alex Morgan is far and away the most popular athlete in the tournament, her number of followers and total engagement is way more than any of the other key players from these teams. We are also able to see that, even though Melanie Leupolz has the least followers (as indicated by her having the smallest bubble), she has the highest engagement rate by a considerable margin. Overall, this graphic sums up just how popular and engaging these big time athletes are compared to each other.

Stay tuned on the Hookit Spontech blog for more content about the athletes, teams, and brands making the biggest splash in this year’s Women’s World Cup happening right now in France!