How to Find Sports Influencers: A Comprehensive Guide to Identifying Key Players

February 27, 2024
16 Min
Peter Nettesheim
| Author
See Which Influencers Follow Your Instagram
They are 8X more likely to work with you

How to Find Sports Influencers

Are you looking to leverage the power of influencer marketing in the sports industry? Finding the right influencers can be crucial for promoting your brand, products or services to a targeted audience. In this detailed guide, we'll explore various tools, platforms, websites, and strategies you can use to identify and connect with sports influencers effectively. From specialized influencer discovery tools to social media platforms and industry events, we'll cover everything you need to know to find the perfect influencers for your sports marketing campaigns.

1. Leverage Advanced Influencer Discovery Tools (e.g. Influencer Hero)

Identifying sports influencers is simplified with specialized influencer discovery tools such as Influencer Hero. This platform makes it easy to connect with relevant influencers by streamlining the identification process and offering user-friendly interfaces and extensive databases. The influencer finder feature offers insights not only on the influencers themselves but also on their audience. With location filters enabling you to narrow down influencers by country, state, and city, as well as detailed demographic data on factors such as age, gender, and follower authenticity, the tool equips you with the necessary resources to swiftly identify relevant influencers. Whether you're searching for sports influencers through keywords or by inputting an ideal profile, the AI technology will generate a list of similar profiles, simplifying the process of finding suitable influencers with just a few clicks through our lookalike feature. Ultimately, optimizing influencer marketing strategies and saving valuable time and resources becomes achievable for businesses. Schedule a demo today to explore the potential of Influencer Hero further.

2. Sports News Sites

Immerse yourself in popular platforms like ESPN, Bleacher Report, or Sports Illustrated, analyzing authors whose content garners high engagement. Explore dedicated sections focusing on specific sports or niche interests, as they often feature contributions from experts and personalities entrenched in those fields. Engage with user-generated content and community discussions to identify individuals demonstrating a deep understanding of the sports landscape and commanding respect among peers. Additionally, keep an eye out for interviews, profiles, or features spotlighting rising stars, retired athletes, coaches, or industry insiders, as they offer valuable perspectives and connections within the sports influencer ecosystem. By proactively exploring both editorial content and community-driven contributions, you can pinpoint influencers aligning with your brand's objectives and resonating with your target audience.

<img src="sports-influencers-search-sports-news-sites.jpg" alt="Find sport influencers through sports news sites">

3. Forums and Communities

Begin by actively participating in platforms like Sports-Reference or TeamTalk, where discussions are centered around specific sports niches. Engage with the community to gauge the level of expertise and authority of various members, paying close attention to those who consistently contribute valuable insights and generate meaningful discussions. Look for individuals who demonstrate a deep passion for their chosen sports and exhibit a strong following or reputation within the community. Additionally, explore threads or topics that receive significant engagement and contributions, as they often attract influential figures with a keen interest in sharing their knowledge and opinions.

<img src="sports-influencers-search-forums-and-communities.jpg" alt="Find sports influencers through forums and communities">

4. Engage with Podcasts and Events


To find sports influencers through podcasts, explore platforms like Apple Podcasts or Spotify and search for shows related to your target sports niche. Look for hosts or guests with a substantial following and expertise in the field. Pay attention to episodes featuring experts who contribute valuable insights. By identifying influential hosts or guests, you can leverage their reach to connect with your target audience effectively.

Influencer List Widget
Free Influencer List
Receive a list with all influencers which follow your Instagram page. Influencers which already know you are 8X more likely to work with you.
Influencer List Image


Consider attending or participating in sports events, conferences, or trade shows either in person or online. These gatherings provide valuable opportunities to network with industry professionals and influencers who are actively engaged in the sports community. During these events, pay close attention to speakers or panelists who demonstrate expertise and authority within their respective sports niches. Take note of individuals who have a strong presence both offline and online, as they are likely to have a significant following and influence within the sports industry.

<img src="sports-influencers-search-sport-events.jpg" alt="Find sports influencers through sports events">

5. Utilize Social Media Platforms


Leverage the platform's search feature to explore hashtags related to various sports, such as #basketball, #soccer, or #hockey, etc. This allows you to discover accounts that are actively engaged in discussions and content creation within your target sports niche. Look for profiles with high follower counts, consistent posting frequency, and significant engagement rates, as these are indicators of influence and reach. Once you've identified potential influencers, consider utilizing Instagram's algorithmic recommendations. After interacting with or following specific influencers, the algorithm may suggest similar accounts based on shared interests, audience demographics, and engagement patterns. This recommendation feature can help you discover additional influencers who align with your brand's objectives and resonate with your target audience


Start by delving into sports-related subreddits like r/sports, r/nba, or r/soccer. Within these communities, look for users whose posts consistently garner high engagement, positive feedback, and contribute valuable insights or content related to your target sports niche. Pay attention to active participants who demonstrate expertise, authority, and a strong presence within the subreddit community. Additionally, consider participating in Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions hosted by sports personalities or experts. These sessions provide a unique opportunity to directly interact with potential influencers, ask questions, and gauge their relevance to your brand or campaign. By engaging with subreddit communities and participating in AMA threads, you can identify sports influencers who resonate with your target audience and align with your brand's objectives.

<img src="sports-influencers-search-social-media-platform.jpg" alt="Find sports influencers social media platform">

What is Engagement Rate and How to Calculate it for Sports Influencers?

The engagement rate in influencer marketing refers to the level of interaction and involvement that an influencer's audience has with their content. It typically includes actions such as likes, comments, shares, and saves on social media platforms. A high engagement rate indicates that the influencer's audience is actively engaging with their content, which can lead to greater visibility and impact for sponsored posts or collaborations.

To calculate the engagement rate for sports influencers, follow these steps:

1. Choose a Time Frame

Decide on a specific time frame for your analysis, such as the past 30 days, to ensure relevancy and consistency in your data.

2. Select Posts to Analyze

Identify a selection of posts from the sports influencer's profile within the chosen time frame. Focus on a variety of content types, including photos, videos, and captions. 

3. Count Engagements

For each post, tally the total number of engagements, including likes, comments, shares, and saves.

4. Calculate Engagement Rate

Divide the total number of engagements by the influencer's total number of followers and multiply by 100 to get the engagement rate percentage.

<img src="sports-influencer-engagement-rate-formula.png" alt="Formula to calculate engagement rate">

You could also check the engagement rate through our detailed analytics for each influencer.

<img src="Influencer-hero-sports-engagement-rate.png" alt="Influencer hero software sports engagement rate feature">

5. Evaluate Performance

Compare the engagement rates across different posts and content types to identify trends and patterns. Look for posts with higher-than-average engagement rates, as they may indicate topics or formats that resonate well with the audience.

<img src="Influencer-hero-sports-engagements.png" alt="Influencer hero software sports engagement spread for last posts">

6. Adjust for Sponsored Content

When analyzing sponsored posts, consider the engagement rate in comparison to the influencer's organic content. This helps assess the effectiveness of sponsored collaborations in driving audience interaction. By accurately measuring the engagement rate for sports influencers, brands can gauge the effectiveness of influencer partnerships and make informed decisions when selecting collaborators for their marketing campaigns.

7. Compare Across Platforms

Consider the engagement rate across different social media platforms where the influencer is active. While some influencers may have a higher engagement rate on Instagram, others might excel on platforms like TikTok or YouTube, depending on the type of content they produce and their audience demographics.

By accurately measuring the engagement rate for sports influencers, brands can gauge the effectiveness of influencer partnerships and make informed decisions when selecting collaborators for their marketing campaigns.

In summary, finding sports influencers requires a multi-faceted approach that combines the use of advanced tools, community engagement, and social media exploration. By leveraging platforms like Influencer Hero, brands can streamline the identification process and connect with relevant influencers efficiently. With its comprehensive database and intuitive interface, Influencer Hero empowers businesses to establish meaningful partnerships and optimize their influencer marketing strategies. Whether through sports news sites, online communities, or social media platforms, the key lies in proactively engaging with influencers and fostering genuine relationships. Start your journey towards mastering the art of influencer marketing in sports today with Influencer Hero. Schedule a demo now to unlock the full potential of influencer partnerships in your marketing endeavors.’

How do I measure the success of influencer campaigns?
How do I approach sports influencers for collaboration opportunities?
Is it necessary to work with high-profile athletes, or are micro-influencers effective in the sports industry?
Why should I find my sports influencers through Influencer Hero?
How can I distinguish between authentic engagement and fake followers?

Most Popular Blogs

Ready to achieve 10X+ ROI?

Schedule a Demo with one of our media experts below.