Elon Musk Twitter deal set to see sports stars such as LeBron James & Cristiano Ronaldo lose millions of followers

After months of speculation, Elon Musk’s much-discussed Twitter takeover looks set to finally be completed imminently. 

Top of the Tesla owners’ agenda is reportedly to fully remove fake accounts from the popular social media platform. 

With many of the world’s top sports stars featuring on the ‘Most Followed’ lists, exactly how much will it impact their followers? 

The likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Kevin Durant and LeBron James all look set to face drastic reductions.

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Credit: Alexander Shatov, UnsplashPickswise decided to do the math and discovered: 

  • The top 10 sports stars will lose a combined 23,803,678 followers when Musk completes his deal
  • Soccer could be the biggest loser in this case, with seven of the top 10 featuring in that particular field. 
  • LeBron James could lose 3.58 per cent of his Twitter fan base, while former Brazilian soccer sensation Ronaldinho might lose almost 10%. 

Top 10 Most Followed Sports Stars on Twitter- ranked by followers lost

Rank  Name Handle Sport Followers lost
1 Cristiano Ronaldo @Cristiano Soccer 7,250,880 (7.28%)
2 Kaka @KAKA Soccer 2,843,800 (9.64%)
3 Neymar @neymarjr Soccer 2,449,000 (4.9%)
4 Ronaldinho @10Ronaldinho Soccer 1,942,239 (9.76%)
5 Andres Iniesta @andresiniesta8 Soccer 1,877,480 (7.48%)
6 LeBron James @KingJames Basketball 1,854,000 (3.58%)
7 Gerard Pique @3gerardpique Soccer 1,464,640 (7.36%)
8 Sachin Tendulkar @sachin_rt Cricket 1,451,880 (4.36%)
9 Kevin Durant @KDTrey5 Basketball 1,376,320 (7.48%)
10 Wayne Rooney @WayneRooney Soccer 1,293,439 (7.52%)

NBA legend LeBron James will likely lose 1,854,000 followers, while fellow Basketball star Kevin Durant could see his followers drop by 7.48 per cent. 

D.C United boss Wayne Rooney also makes the top 10, with a loss of almost 1.3 million followers likely for the former England soccer player. In the world of cricket, Sachin Tendulkar will potentially lose up to 1,451,880 of his following. 

Ronaldo set to lose $56,686 per sponsored post

According to influencermarketinghub.com, Cristiano Ronaldo could earn $778,663 per sponsored post on Twitter with his current amount of followers. 

If he does lose 7.28 per cent of his followers under the Musk takeover, then that could result in a loss of $56,686 per post in future for the 37-year-old. 

Kaka could lose around $21,242 per post, while LeBron James would find his #Ad posts decrease in revenue by approximately $14,046.

Other notable mentions 

Name Handle Sport/known for Followers lost
NFL @NFL Football 873,600 (3.36%)
Aaron Rodgers @AaronRodgers12 Football 349,360 (7.94%)
Pat McAfee @PatMcAfeeShow Football 146,300 (7.7%)
Tom Brady @TomBrady Football 138,600 (6.6%)
Paige Spiranac @PaigeSpiranac Golf 75,429 (11.06%)


The top 10 most followed sports accounts on Twitter were analyzed using followeraudit.com. Figures were gathered using a sample of 5,000 followers for each account, with that tally then used to estimate the total figure. 

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