Captiv8 Blog

Download the latest influencer trends, TikTok how-to’s, and sign up for our next webinar.

The 15 Most Followed Female Athletes on Instagram

The 15 Most Followed Female Athletes on Instagram

Today, the influence of athletes extends well beyond the confines of the sports arena. These women have captured the hearts of millions of fans around the globe. As brands navigate the evolving landscape of influencer marketing, these athletes stand out as the most followed female athletes on Instagram. From active competitors to retired legends, these 15 women showcase the power of perseverance, passion, and excellence in the world of athletics. Join us as we take a look at the most followed female athletes on Instagram and dive into the strategies they employ to engage with their audience.

Note: This list is ranked as of April 25, 2024.

1. Ronda Rousey – 17.5 Million Instagram Followers

Ronda Rousey, an American professional wrestler, actress, and former judoka and mixed martial artist, has left a mark on the world of combat sports and entertainment. Rising to prominence in the UFC and later transitioning to the WWE, Rousey has showcased her skills and charisma to captivate audiences worldwide. Notably, she made history as the first American woman to secure an Olympic medal in judo, winning bronze at the 2008 Summer Olympics. Beyond her athletic achievements, Rousey has cultivated a strong personal brand, attracting partnerships with companies such as Draft Kings, Mizuno, Carl’s Jr., and Reebok. Her influence extends beyond the ring, as she leverages her platform to advocate for causes and engage with her fan base of over 17 million followers. 

2. Serena Williams – 17.2 Million Instagram Followers

Serena Williams, widely hailed as one of the greatest tennis players of all time, has not only dominated the courts but also transcended the world of sports to become a global icon. With numerous Grand Slam titles, Williams has captured the hearts of millions worldwide. Beyond her athletic skills, she embodies resilience, determination, and grace both on and off the court.

One of her most impactful partnerships is with Ford Motor Co.’s Lincoln division. As a global ambassador for Lincoln, Williams has integrated the brand into her lifestyle, leveraging her social media presence to promote Lincoln vehicles and their unique features. From teasing new launches to sharing her personal experiences, Williams has played a pivotal role in enhancing the brand’s visibility. Furthermore, her embodiment of resilience, determination, and grace resonates with Lincoln’s ethos of providing sanctuary and comfort on the road, making her a natural fit for the partnership.

3. Alisha Lehmann – 16.7 Million Instagram Followers

Alisha Lehmann is a prominent Swiss professional footballer. Lehmann is a forward for Women’s Super League club Aston Villa and the Switzerland national team. Beyond her on-field achievements, Lehmann has garnered attention for her extensive brand endorsements, including partnerships with Boohoo, Adidas, and EA Sports.

In the 2023 Women’s World Cup, Lehmann emerged as a standout figure, particularly in the realm of social media engagement. A report from SponsorUnited highlighted her as the most engaging women’s soccer player of the tournament.

4. Key Alves – 15 Million Instagram Followers

Keyla Alves Ramalho, commonly known as Key Alves, is a Brazilian personality recognized for her career as a volleyball player, model, and businesswoman. Hailing from São Paulo, Brazil, she made her mark in the sport as a libero, representing Club Osasco in the Serie A Women’s Volleyball league in Brazil.

Transitioning from her sporting career, Key Alves has ventured into modeling and entrepreneurship. However, she continues to captivate audiences as a participant in the twenty-third season of Big Brother Brazil. As a member of the “Camarote” team, comprising well-known figures from the country, Key adds to the dynamic of the popular reality show. Her diverse background and engaging personality make her a standout figure in both sports and entertainment realms.

5. Sania Mirza – 13.1 Million Instagram Followers

Sania Mirza is a renowned former professional tennis player from India, celebrated for her remarkable achievements on the court. Throughout her career, she claiming six major titles, including three in women’s doubles and three in mixed doubles.

Beyond her sporting accomplishments, Sania has gained attention for her brand campaigns including Dove, Dyson, Emami, and Adidas. Her association with these brands reflects her widespread popularity and appeal to diverse audiences.

6. Smriti Mandhana – 11.2 Million Instagram Followers

Smriti Shriniwas Mandhana is an Indian cricketer known for her contributions to the Indian women’s national team. She also plays for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Women’s Premier League and represents the Maharashtra cricket team in domestic cricket. Mandhana’s impact extends beyond the cricket field, as evidenced by her massive following on social media platforms. Following her team’s victory in the WPL 2024, she gained a million followers on Instagram within just six hours, surpassing the milestone of 10 million followers. 

Mandhana’s popularity extends to her endorsements, with a diverse portfolio of brands including Nike, Red Bull, Herbalife, and PNB MetLife.

7. Nikki Garcia – 10.6 Million Instagram Followers

Stephanie Nicole Chigvintsev, professionally known as Nikki Garcia, is a prominent American television personality and former professional wrestler. She gained widespread recognition for her tenure in WWE from 2007 to 2023, performing under the ring name Nikki Bella. Nikki performed alongside her twin sister, Brie, forming the popular tag team known as The Bella Twins. Throughout their wrestling careers, Nikki and Brie have became household names, captivating audiences with their entertaining performances in the ring. Beyond wrestling, Nikki has transitioned into television and recently launched Bonita Bonita Wine with sister Brie, further expanding her presence in the entertainment industry. Some of Nikki’s recent brand deals include Juice Beauty, Neiman Marcus, and Johnsonville.

8. Alex Morgan – 10 Million Instagram Followers

Alex Morgan Carrasco is a highly accomplished American professional soccer player renowned for her role as a striker. Currently serving as the captain of San Diego Wave FC in the National Women’s Soccer League, she also represents the United States women’s national soccer team. Notably, she played crucial roles in the United States’ gold medal victories at the 2015 and 2019 World Cups and the 2012 Olympics.

Off the field, Morgan’s influence extends through numerous endorsements with prestigious brands. Her recent partnerships include collaborations with Coca-Cola, Nature Made Vitamins, Volley Tequila Seltzer, Reese’s, and more! Morgan’s combination of athletic skill and leadership qualities has solidified her status as a leading figure in both soccer and sports marketing.

9. Brie Garcia – 8.5 Million Instagram Followers

Brianna Monique Danielson, known professionally as Brie Garcia, is an American former professional wrestler and television personality. She gained popularity during her tenure in WWE from 2007 to 2023, where she performed alongside her twin sister, Nikki. As part of the dynamic duo, The Bella Twins, Brie captivated audiences with her charismatic performances. Beyond her wrestling career, Brie has worked with Nikki on a variety of projects including hosting the reality TV series Twin Love and podcast The Nikki and Brie Show.

10. Simone Biles – 7.1 Million Followers

Simone Biles is an American gymnast, hailed as one of the greatest in the sport’s history. With 37 World and Olympic medals, she holds the title as the most decorated gymnast ever. 

Beyond her athletic accomplishments, Biles is also a sought-after figure in the world of endorsements. Athleta, the athletic clothing brand under Gap, stands as Biles’ flagship endorsement, reflecting her commitment to excellence in sportswear. Additionally, she has partnered with various brands including Visa, United, Uber Eats, Core Power, and more.

11. Rayssa Leal – 6.5 Million Instagram Followers

Rayssa Leal is a rising star in the world of skateboarding, hailing from Brazil. At just 15 years old, she won a silver medal in women’s street skateboarding at the 2020 Summer Olympics. Now, Leal is teaming up with Nike SB Dunk Low for an exciting collaboration. This partnership aims to blend skate culture with Leal’s style, offering a fresh take on the iconic SB Dunk shoe. Known for its comfort and classic design, the shoe will receive a new interpretation inspired by Leal’s approach to skateboarding.

12. Natalie Eva Marie – 6.1 Million Instagram Followers

Natalie Eva Marie Nelson is a multifaceted American talent, renowned as an actress, fashion designer, model, and former professional wrestler. Best known for her stints in WWE, she mesmerized audiences from 2013 to 2017 and 2020 to 2021, under the ring name Eva Marie. Beyond her wrestling career, Natalie has established herself as a prominent entrepreneur. She serves as the CEO and Founder of the fashion brand Natalie Eva Marie Fashion and the fitness empire NEM Fit.

13. Alexa Bliss – 6.1 Million Instagram Followers

Alexis Cabrera, known professionally as Alexa Bliss, is an American professional wrestler currently signed to WWE. Under her ring name, Alexa Bliss has made a significant impact in the world of wrestling. Despite her current hiatus due to maternity leave, Bliss’s journey in WWE began in 2013 when she signed a contract with the company and joined their developmental brand, NXT.

Bliss’s story is one of resilience and determination, making her an inspiration to many. Despite facing a life-threatening eating disorder, she found strength in competitive bodybuilding, which ultimately helped her overcome her struggles. Her passion for professional wrestling led her to NXT, where she made her televised debut in the same year.

14. Saraya Bevis – 6 Million Instagram Followers

Saraya Bevis, is an English professional wrestler known by her ring name Saraya. Currently signed to All Elite Wrestling (AEW), she serves as the leader of The Outcasts faction and holds the distinction of being an AEW Women’s World Champion. Prior to her tenure with AEW, Saraya gained widespread recognition during her time with WWE, where she competed under the ring name Paige. Throughout her career, Saraya has showcased her skills and charisma, earning a dedicated fanbase.

15. Rebecca Quin – 5.9 Million Instagram Followers

Rebecca Quin, known professionally as Becky Lynch, is a renowned Irish–American professional wrestler. She currently holds a prominent position in WWE, performing on the Raw brand under her ring name. Lynch boasts an impressive track record, currently reigning as the Women’s World Champion. Furthermore, Quin has a remarkable seven-time world champion status overall. Her accomplishments in WWE have solidified her as one of the company’s most recognizable and highest-paid wrestlers.

Captiv8: Your All-in-One Solution for Authentic Creator Partnerships

Captiv8 offers a comprehensive solution for planning, discovering, managing, and measuring creator partnerships. Whether leveraging the influence of the most followed female athletes on Instagram or more niche creators, brands can amplify their message and drive meaningful engagement. From active competitors to retired legends, Captiv8 empowers brands to tap into the power of athlete partnerships and connect with audiences in a genuine and impactful manner. Interested in learning more? Book a platform tour today to ensure lasting impressions and measurable results.

Don’t miss a beat.

Get the latest industry trends and news.