Fandom 250 preview: The best sports figure fandoms in the world

OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 12: LeBron James
OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 12: LeBron James /

The 2017 Fandom 250 includes the fans of 18 sports figures, from team sports to individual sports.

Now, perhaps more than ever, athletes are able to transcend the game. Perhaps it is the rise of social media, or crossing over into business, athletes have become megastars, outdrawing the social media followings of the team’s the play for and having an immense impact on local economies.

With the United States population becoming more transient than ever, people often find themselves attaching onto individuals rather than teams. Athletes in individual sports obviously have a following tied to them specifically.

For the 2017 Fandom 250, we’ve created a separate category for “sports figures.” This is for individual figures in sports with immense fandoms and followings. It’s not limited to active athletes.

Here are the 18 sports figures fandoms — unranked and in alphabetical order — you can expect to see on the Fandom 250 this year:

  • Aaron Judge
  • Brock Lesnar
  • Colin Kaepernick
  • Conor McGregor
  • Cristiano Ronaldo
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  • Derek Jeter
  • Diana Taurasi
  • JJ Watt
  • Jordan Spieth
  • LeBron James
  • Lionel Messi
  • Michael Jordan/Jump Man
  • Cristiano Ronaldo
  • Russell Westbrook
  • Serena Williams
  • Sidney Crosby
  • Steph Curry
  • Tom Brady

Check back in December to see where each star’s fandom ranks.

Fan Vote

As we put together our rankings, we want to hear from you. Who do you think has the best fans in this category? Let us hear from you on social media. Use the #Fandom250 hashtag, submit your photos and videos on Twitter and Instagram and @FanSided and tell us why your fanbase is the best.

Also, take part in our Reader Vote and let our editors know why your fan base is the best in the comments below!

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What is the FanSided Fandom 250?

The Fandom 250 is the ultimate ranking of fandoms. From sports teams and movie franchises to Instagram celebrities and brands, if something has an avid, sometimes rabid, fanbase, FanSided wants to honor those fans and — in the spirit of healthy competition — rank ‘em.

The Fandom 250 is divided into 16 categories: NBA, MLB, NFL, NHL, Soccer, NCAA, Sports Figures, Celebrities, Music, Movies, TV Shows, Comics, Gaming, Brands, Internet Famous and Other. All 250 qualifying fandoms will be ranked both within their categories and against the field, so fans can see how the object of their devotion stacks up against its peers and in the fan landscape at large.

Qualifying fandoms will be announced by category every Tuesday through early December, with the official ranking — and the big reveal of No. 1 fandom — announced on Dec. 12.