Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date

Spring 2023


Since its founding in 2010, Instagram has developed into one of the world's largest social media platforms. In 2022, $33.3 billion was spent on instagram advertising by companies, firms, etc. Additionally, almost $5 billion was spent on Influencer marketing in 2022, a 27.8% increase from 2021 and a 34.7% increase from 2019. These statistics show the vast importance influencers have on marketing in today's business world and society as a whole. For this project, I looked into the engagement rates of SunBelt Football athletes. I used at least 2 athletes from each university that had over 1,000 followers on instagram, falling into three categories: Nano, Micro, and Mid-Tier influencers. I compared engagement rates by time of year, position, school, division, influencer tier, certification status, and sponsorship status. Taking the average engagement rates of athletes such as Grayson McCall (QB-CCU), Kyle Vantrese (QB-GSO), and David Nunez (P-TexSt). Average engagement rates were higher for 95% of the athletes studied in this project compared to a selection of NFL athletes with an influencer status of Mid-Tier or Mega. Quarterbacks in this study had an average engagement rate of 22.77% compared to the average nano-influencer engagement rate of 3.69% by The information found in this study can be used by collegiate athletes to promote the value of their influence for future sponsorship deals.