The ESPN World Fame 100 is our attempt to create a ranking, through statistical analysis, of the 100 most famous athletes on the planet.
We started off with Forbes' list of the 100 highest-paid athletes, then sought input from ESPN journalists to add other notable athletes. ESPN director of sports analytics Ben Alamar created a formula that combined athletes' salary/winnings and endorsements with their social media following -- Facebook, Twitter and Instagram -- along with Google search popularity to create a comparative ranking system.
Salary and endorsement figures for athletes were for the 2015 or 2015-16 seasons. Endorsement data was compiled by ESPN researchers. NFL salary figures count only the previous season's salary plus any bonuses paid out in 2015. (They do not match the salary-cap figures for the year.)
Recently retired stars Kobe Bryant, Marshawn Lynch and Peyton Manning were included on the list because they played in 2015 and/or 2016.
The Facebook, Twitter and Instagram numbers were as of May 12, 2016. Google Trend scores, on a scale of 0 to 100, measure the relative popularity of players based on how often they are searched.
The rankings don't completely match the version published in the May 9 issue of ESPN The Magazine because additions to the list were made after the publication deadline.
RESEARCH AND REPORTING: Katie Barnes, Sachin Dave Chandan, Gus Elvin, Charlotte Gibson, Brian Good, Brendan Guinnane and Darren Rovell.