Already the king of Seattle, Russell Wilson is one of the most famous athletes in the world for the second consecutive year according to a formula created by ESPN.
The Seahawks Quarterback is the 55th-ranked athlete on a list that is topped by Portugese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo. While he’s the highest ranked Seattle athlete on the list, he’s only the second-ranked Russell. Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook ranks 35th.
The World Fame 100 list is the second compiled by the sports network. Athletes fame is determined using a formula that uses endorsement earnings, social media following and internet search popularity.
Wilson ranked 49th last year (Westbrook was 48th).
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ESPN says his fame is fueled by his Super Bowl 48 victory, sales of merchandise and his singer/actress wife Ciara as reasons for his fame. It also sites his endorsement contract with Alaska Airlines. The article says he makes $10 million from endorsements and has more than 3 million Twitter followers.
Four others with local ties made the list. Former Sonics forward Kevin Durant is No. 8. Golfer Jordan Spieth, whose caddy is former Gig Harbor teacher Michael Greller, is No. 17. And former University of Washington soccer star Hope Solo is No. 75.