Peter Sagan’s $330,000 Facebook post and the value of cyclists’ social media

Apr 24, 2018

Atop the recent Paris-Roubaix podium, Peter Sagan appeared wearing a now-familiar pair of motocross goggles draped around his neck. Nothing to do with the cobbles’ mud and dust, the goggles are pure cross-promotion, for eyewear sponsor 100%.

Some laugh, stylistas howl. Others shrug — hey, if anyone can pull it off, the charismatic world champion can.

They may upset some sensibilities, but in reality the goggles perform exactly the same purpose as a sponsor-emblazoned team cap. They remind us that these athletes are elite billboards, whose performances draw attention to the companies who pay to associate with them. But does this actually work?

CyclingTips has tried to answer that question, calculating the value of a select group of pros’ social media posts and followings, in collaboration with sports marketing firm Hookit.

The Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts of Peter Sagan, Chris Froome, Richie Porte, Mark Cavendish, Jens Voigt, Taylor Phinney, Alison Tetrick, Tiffany Cromwell, Elizabeth Deignan (nee Armitstead), Wout van Aert, Jeremy Powers, Sanne Kant and Katie Compton were each analysed. The idea was to see how valuable athletes from different disciplines, and with different fanbases, are to their sponsors.

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