The Power of the Player

The Power of the Player


“He makes much more money than he spends, much more. The expense of Messi constitutes eight percent of the overall revenue of the club, while he produces about 30 percent of the revenue”

These words from new FC Barcelona President, Joan Laporta may refer to the extreme example of Lionel Messi and his commercial importance to Barca but, when looking at audiences across social media’s big 4 (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & YouTube), it is clear that the dynamic between athletes and the team, league and even sport they represent is changing. In some cases, it is now the athlete who commands the bigger reach and with it the bigger commercial pull.

What does this shifting balance of power mean for the commercial future sport? Could we face a situation where the financial growth of different sports is dependent upon a select few individuals rather than historically strong team brands?

In this new report, we analyse The Power of the Player to understand what the dynamic looks from sport to sport.  We begin by looking at elite football, focusing on the teams involved in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League, before expanding our analysis to look at the world’s biggest sporting leagues, to see how football’s top competitions compare with the top US sports like NFL, NBA and MLB.

The results make for interesting reading, offering insights into the differing levels of commercial, societal and organisational power athletes exert across different sports.


We hope you enjoy!