Image of various sports equipment floating in the air including a tennis racket, soccer ball, tennis ball, baseball, basketball, baseball glove, cleats, football, and football helmet. Top Sports and Fitness influencers blog post.

30 Top Sports & Fitness Influencers to Inspire You

Samantha Scott

May 22, 2023

The world of sports on social media spans numerous topics from fitness and nutrition to tutorials and training regimenes from pro athletes.

Sports and fitness influencers offer a great partnership opportunity for sporting good brands and professional teams to expand their reach and attract new audiences of potential customers.

Let’s dive in! 🏄

What is a Fitness Influencer?

Fitness influencers are related to sports influencers, but not quite the same. They tend to be nutritionists, bodybuilders, trainers & coaches, and physical therapists as opposed to athletes. 

Like sports influencers, influencers who focus on fitness tend to have a strong social media presence on Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.

What is a Sports Influencer?

A sports influencer is a public figure on social media who shares sports information, fitness tips, insider and behind the scenes content.

Unlike other verticals, where a wider array of micro-influencers and nano-influencers can be tapped into, sports is one arena (pun intended) where celebrity endorsements are still par for the course. Not to say that celebrity endorsements have disappeared in other industries, it’s just that the power of influence in sports still largely sits with celebrity athletes, whereas the balance has shifted for a lot of other areas, such as beauty influencers and fashion influencers.

What Are the Primary Channels for Fitness Influencers?

Sports influencers will likely have large followings and engagement on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube among other social media channels.

Unlike fashion influencers, they don’t typically sell their own merchandise or have accompanying blogs.

Why Partner With a Fitness Influencer?

Gyms or freelance fitness instructors looking to increase clientele could partner with a fitness influencer to promote special deals, share personal results stories, or give reviews and recommendations. 

The perspective on fitness today typically encompasses all aspects of a healthy lifestyle, as opposed to just “go to the gym”. So if you work with a nutritional supplement brand or perhaps mental health services, partnering with a fitness influencer could be a great way to promote your products and services.

As with sports, workout apparel is always a natural fit for influencer marketing in the fitness space.

Why Partner With a Sports Influencer?

Sports influencers cover a wide range of niches, depending on your goals for your influencer campaign and the type of business you are in. For example, stadiums, arenas, and other sports venues may look for influencers among their fans, or from among the players on their teams.

Because most sports influencers are athletes, you could think even broader to partner with them for promoting products, services, or ideas. For example, many female sports influencers use their voices and platforms to bring attention to pay inequity. Apparel companies specializing in active wear are another natural fit.

How Are the Top Sports & Fitness Influencers Ranked?

We used Klear, a Meltwater offering, to search for and identify top sports influencers by top criteria including:

  • Following
  • True reach
  • Average engagement
  • Average number of posts per month

Tip: Learn more about the Meltwater Influencer Marketing Suite and take a look at the best influencer marketing tools and influencer management platforms on the market.

These influencer metrics are some of the most important for marketers to look at when determining whether a sports influencer or fitness influencer is the best match for a partnership. Comments, likes, shares, top posts, and brands worked with are also available metrics to observe when using Klear.

Top Sports & Fitness Influencers With 1M+ Followings

Sports influencers with the biggest followings on social media. Screenshot of Klear influencer marketing tool.

While a large following is helpful when determining the sports influencer you want to partner with, be careful that it’s not the only metric you look at.

The below list of sports and fitness influencers with the biggest followings is actually sorted by “True Reach” which is a much more accurate representation of influence. Big followings on social media mean very little if the audience isn’t engaged with the content.

Read about why more marketers are turning to micro-influencers 👀  

Because a number of the below influencers in fitness and sports are high-profile athletes, it’s important to take their follower numbers with a grain of salt. Due to their celebrity status, they come with a built-in fan base, which doesn’t necessarily correlate to a convertible customer or follower in the traditional influencer-marketing sense. 

For sports influencers, we focused on athletes that appear to have clear brand ambassador partnerships and use their platform in other influencer ways, such as offering tips and behind-the-scenes content. 

When it comes to fitness influencers we focused mostly on the micro-influencer range, but there are some exceptions including Adriene Mishler, and it would be tough to leave off Arnold Schwarzenegger or Dwayne Johnson as they remain popular sources of inspiration for gym goers everywhere.

List of sports influencers with followings of 1 million or more:

Cristiano Ronaldo

  • Followers: 849.2M
  • True reach: 127.9M
  • Average engagement: 11.6M
  • Average number of posts per month: 113

Virat Kohli

  • Followers: 343.6M
  • True reach: 49.8M
  • Average engagement: 4.1M
  • Average number of posts per month: 100

LeBron James

  •  Followers: 231.6M
  • True reach: 35.9M
  • Average engagement: 1.1M 
  • Average number of posts per month: 203

Dwyane Johnson

  • Followers: 529.1M
  • True reach: 32.5M
  • Average engagement: 3.3M
  • Average number of posts per month: 112

Zlatan Ibrahimović

  • Followers: 116.2M
  • True reach: 24.5M
  • Average engagement: 3M
  • Average number of posts per month: 11

Lionel Messi

  • Followers: 556.5M
  • True reach: 8.6M
  • Average engagement: 12.9M
  • Average number of posts per month: 98

Giannis Ugo Antetokounmpo

  • Followers: 25.6M
  • True reach: 5.6M
  • Average engagement: 568.5K
  • Average number of posts per month: 39

Arnold Schwarzenegger

  • Followers: 53.8M
  • True reach: 5.2M
  • Average engagement: 336K
  • Average number of posts per month: 41


  • Followers: 16.9M
  • True reach: 3.3M
  • Average engagement: 174.5K 
  • Average number of posts per month: 310

Naomi Osaka

  • Followers: 4.9M
  • True reach: 1.9M
  • Average engagement: 166.8K
  • Average number of posts per month: 82

Abby Berner

  • Followers: 8.9M
  • True reach: 883.2K
  • Average engagement: 125.8K
  • Average number of posts per month: 143

Sam Kerr

  • Followers: 1.7M
  • True reach: 706.7K
  • Average engagement: 50.4K
  • Average number of posts per month: 48

Courtney Alexis King

  •  Followers: 1.2M
  • True reach: 680.4K
  • Average engagement: 145.8K
  • Average number of posts per month:12

Megan Rapinoe

  • Followers: 3.7M
  • True reach: 601.6K
  • Average engagement: 37.7K
  • Average number of posts per month: 83

Candace Parker

  • Followers: 2.2M
  • True reach: 564K
  • Average engagement: 33.1K
  • Average number of posts per month: 161

Adriene Mishler

  • Followers: 2.9M
  • True reach: 489K
  • Average engagement: 28.5K
  • Average number of posts per month: 233

Laury Thilleman

  • Followers: 1.5M
  • True reach: 371K
  • Average engagement: 15.8K
  • Average number of posts per month: 100

Littlet Fitness

  • Followers: 1.2M
  • True reach: 193.6K
  • Average engagement: 42.6K
  • Average number of posts per month: 18

Fitness Influencers List

Screenshot of fitness influencer list

While sports influencers tend to be well-known athletes, fitness influencers are individuals who have built their platform around training and coaching their followers in various gym workouts and exercises for the purposes of toning and weight loss. 

But beware! There are a lot of conflicting perspectives in the world of fitness, and it’s very easy to succumb to misinformation in this arena. Consider “before and after” photos for example. These can be incredibly misleading, yet it is a trope that is still commonly used.

So just be sure to vet fitness influencers carefully before partnering and learn how to quickly spot fake influencers!

Sohee Fit

  • Followers: 657.7K
  • True reach: 154.9K
  • Average engagement: 13.2K
  • Average number of posts per month: 31

Ben Carpenter

  • Followers: 314.6K
  • True reach: 122.9K
  • Average engagement: 11.6K
  • Average number of posts per month: 4

Elisa Melilli

  • Followers: 1445.8K
  • True reach: 41.6K
  • Average engagement: 4.9K
  • Average number of posts per month: 12

Joanna Soh

  • Followers: 329.9K
  • True reach: 36.3K
  • Average engagement: 2.1K
  • Average number of posts per month: 10

Adam Wright

  • Followers: 101.4K
  • True reach: 7K
  • Average engagement: 11.7K
  • Average number of posts per month: 8


  • Followers: 13.1K
  • True reach: 4.7K
  • Average engagement: 406
  • Average number of posts per month: 4

Jessica Tenelle

  • Followers: 26.7K
  • True reach: 4.4K
  • Average engagement: 215
  • Average number of posts per month: 12


  • Followers: 19.2K
  • True reach: 3.1K
  • Average engagement: 214
  • Average number of posts per month: 8

Mark Robson

  • Followers: 12.5K
  • True reach: 3.7K
  • Average engagement: 268
  • Average number of posts per month: 4

Top Yoga Influencers

Top yoga influencers. Klear screenshot

Another very popular subset of the fitness influencer cohort are those that focus on Yoga and mind-body wellness.

Below are some of the most popular yoga influencers, also sorted by the "True Reach" metric.

Adriene Mishler

  • Followers: 2.9M
  • True reach: 489K
  • Average engagement: 28.5K
  • Average number of posts per month: 233

Amanda Bisk

  • Followers: 677.3K 
  • True reach: 64.5K
  • Average engagement: 3.1K
  • Average number of posts per month: 26

Patrick Beach

  • Followers: 628K
  • True reach: 98.3K
  • Average engagement: 8.7K
  • Average number of posts per month: 8

Caroline Perrineau

  • Followers: 112.9K
  • True reach: 27.6K
  • Average engagement: 3.5K
  • Average number of posts per month: 8

Dice Iida-Klein

  • Followers: 106.7K
  • True reach: 22K
  • Average engagement: 1.6K
  • Average number of posts per month: 8

Lydia | Yoga Workouts

  • Followers: 119.1K
  • True reach: 14.7K
  • Average engagement: 609
  • Average number of posts per month: 4

Which Sports Influencer is Right For Your Brand?

Sports influencers tend to be more high-profile and celebrity, so it’s important to choose someone who aligns well with your target audience demographic.

Using consumer insights tools like the Meltwater Consumer Intelligence Suite can help you find the cross-sections and narrow down who the most appropriate spokesperson would be to represent your brand.

Which Fitness Influencer is Right For Your Brand?

If you are considering working with a fitness influencer, be sure to research their posts quite thoroughly.

Many who claim to provide fitness coaching or use their platform for inspiration with gym pics, quick fixes, “weight loss” tricks, or innocent-seeming click-bait posts such as “what I eat in a day” have faced heavy backlash from their own community.

On the surface, these posts may seem harmless, but a growing number of influencers in the fitness space are encouraging their followers to turn away from these posts as they offer potentially harmful advice and in some cases pure misinformation.

Using an influencer vetting service like Klear or the Meltwater Influencer Marketing Suite will help reveal those fitness influencers who approach their content carefully and don’t spread false claims and promises to their followers.

Ready to see it in action and find the best sports influencer fit for you?