LeBron James vs Roger Federer: Who's the more famous athlete?

Who's more popular in the worldwide market: LeBron and Fedr?

  • Fedr

    Votes: 60 55.0%
  • LBJ

    Votes: 49 45.0%

  • Total voters
    109

Gizo

Hall of Fame
Lebron. I believe basketball has become the world's 2nd most popular sport

Edit: basketball is still behind cricket but I think it will surpass it as the sport is growing globally
The issue is with cricket is that the sport is basically irrelevant in two thirds of the planet, i.e basically everywhere outside the Commonwealth. And even in the Commonwealth there are countries like Canada and Nigeria where basketball is significantly more popular. In huge markets such as the USA, China, Brazil, Mexico, Japan, Germany, Russia, France etc, cricket just isn’t on the radar.

Basketball however is on the radar pretty much everywhere. Even in many countries where it isn’t one of the top 3-5 sports, it still has healthy participation figures. For example in cricket mad India I read that basketball is still one of the top 10 sports in terms of both participation and TV ratings. In the UK while I think that the sport has higher participation figures than cricket for people aged 16-25 and is growing in popularity in inner city London (obviously cricket is still bigger overall here). It clearly isn’t one of the most popular sports in Japan, but the league there is gaining more popularity and a lot of kids there at least play the sport recreationally, and the country hosted the 2006 World Championships.
 

fedgoaterer

New User
No contest in Spain: Federer by a large margin.

Fed is the third most famous non-Spanish athlete here, only behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi.
 

Enceladus

Legend
1. Cristiano Ronaldo: 120 million followers on Facebook.
2. Messi: 80 million followers on Facebook.
3. LeBron James: 25 million followers on Facebook.
...
Somewhere behind Federer: 15 million followers on Facebook.

I am sorry but the excuse that LeBron is only known in the USA is ridiculous. Of course LeBron is widely known in South América, Canada, Europe and Asia. Check out the videos of LeBron visiting China. It is ridiculous to see how many Chinese people does he attract.

I am sorry, but in terms of popularity worldwide: Football >>> basketball >>> tennis.
You're wrong. Popularity of basketball does not reach even 50% of the popularity of tennis.

https://www.topendsports.com/world/lists/popular-sport/fans.htm

https://www.wonderslist.com/top-10-most-popular-sports/

Numbers from Facebook or other social networks are not authoritative. They are not a representative sample of the population.
 
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Enceladus

Legend
Lol I'm done. Can TTW do something about these Eastern-European bot accounts already? They are starting to go on loop, losing that human quality that made them believable before.
Guy, you have reserves in the Geography, Czechia lies in Central Europe, not in Eastern Europe.

Because of people like you, Trump won the US presidential election.
 

toby55555

Hall of Fame
Well tennis is watched by more people than Basketball worldwide so probably Federer. Michael Jordan might have been a serious challenge though as even I had heard of him and basketball is not a sport I follow.
Ask Nick..
 

Dave1982

Professional
In the USA, it's 100% LeBron, theres no questions about that. For the last 10 years, ESPN has been LeBron's secret mistress and American media as a whole all rate LeBron very highly.

In other parts of the world though, this is VERY close, with Federer maybe having an advantage here. In Canada, LeBron's more popular in the province on Ontario (the one that Toronto's in), as b-ball is beginning to become a big deal here. In other parts of Canada, I might say Fedr as b-ball hasn't really entered the market of any other part of Canada besides Southern Ontario. I'm sure Federer is more popular across Europe, Australia, and likely the Middle East/South Asia as I see tons of tennis fans who are from that area of the world comment on FB tennis posts. LBJ is more popular in East Asia (China and Philippines in particular) where markets are huge but I believe Fed has quite the name for himself there as well, especially with the recent Uniqlo signing. I'm not sure about Latin/South America and Africa though as I'm not sure how big the tennis and basketball markets are in those areas.

On Social Media, LeBron beats Fed in all three of the "mainstream" outlets including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but at the same time, the # of social media followers can also be a flawed method of determining one's popularity.

Federer may be more popular in more areas/continents/regions of the world, but could all of that surpass LBJ's popularity in China/USA (the two biggest markets in the world)?
By what metric are you defining fame in this instance?

Fame can be defined or measured by many metrics, news articles/reports, social media following, marketability, earnings etc.

Overall I think we all agree both athletes are universally known globally, yep each might have their stronger countries/continents, but for most part neither are walking into a local supermarket with any degree of anoniminity regardless of country.

Basketball has a significantly greater global fan & participant base than tennis, that is fact, so based on general comments & in general terms, if I'm looking to invest in either athlete, LBJ is the one who will give you greater rate of return...still not like you're losing money on RF though!
 

Cecilia

Rookie
I think it is Lebron. The NBA gained a lot popularity in Europe lately and Basketball is way more mainstream. How many kids do you see with a Lakers jersey or a Chicago bulls cap that do not even play ball? But you never see someone that knows nothing about Tennis rocking a Federer cap or his shoes. Basketball appeals to younger people. Federer is very clean he says what he is supposed to say on the other hand Lebron always speaks his mind
and gets in the headlines for that.
 

clout

Hall of Fame
Bump thread.

NBA has grown drastically in Canada post Raptors championships so LeBron is certainty more popular here now
 

WhiskeyEE

G.O.A.T.
Bump thread.

NBA has grown drastically in Canada post Raptors championships so LeBron is certainty more popular here now
I haven't noticed that. Going by the 5 year trend, it was a bit higher during the regular season last year, which is to be expected since they were defending champs. But 'grown drastically' is probably an overstatement.


edit: Here's one for Lebron


Interestingly, his popularity in Canada (over the last 5 years) peaked just before you made this thread.

Having said that, google trends also suggests that Lebron is much more popular than Federer in Canada regardless.
 
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Dolgopolov85

G.O.A.T.
Bump thread.

NBA has grown drastically in Canada post Raptors championships so LeBron is certainty more popular here now
Possibly so. But he's not as popular in Asia as Jordan used to be, for some reason. I think the stars of the unipolar moment - including Michael Jackson himself - had a huge advantage that way. Once worldwide curiosity about the US was somewhat satiated, future stars didn't enjoy that 'bounce'.

OTOH Fed is definitely hugely popular across Asia. Like it was with Jordan, even people who don't follow tennis know who Federer is. But I wouldn't say he evokes the fascination Jordan at his peak did. I think Ali was the only other sportsperson with that kind of (or greater) crossover appeal. Yes, if I had to name one universally popular sporting great, it would be Ali.
 

WhiskeyEE

G.O.A.T.
Possibly so. But he's not as popular in Asia as Jordan used to be, for some reason. I think the stars of the unipolar moment - including Michael Jackson himself - had a huge advantage that way. Once worldwide curiosity about the US was somewhat satiated, future stars didn't enjoy that 'bounce'.

OTOH Fed is definitely hugely popular across Asia. Like it was with Jordan, even people who don't follow tennis know who Federer is. But I wouldn't say he evokes the fascination Jordan at his peak did. I think Ali was the only other sportsperson with that kind of (or greater) crossover appeal. Yes, if I had to name one universally popular sporting great, it would be Ali.
Yeah I'm not sure why that user considers basketball a growing sport in Canada. Maybe in terms of player development. But I always remember Michael Jordan being way more popular in Canada than Lebron is.
 
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socallefty

Legend
LeBron in the US - no idea about the rest of the world. Almost half the world lives in China and India and I guess it would depend on who is more famous in those countries. Apart from social media followers, is there a way to measure the extent of fame of an athlete?

Is Federer the guy who I alway see on TV losing to another tennis player who is always bouncing the ball 20 times before he serves? Why is Federer more famous than the guy who always beats him - is it some strange tennis etiquette thing where the crowd likes to support the gallant loser?

OK, just trolling:happydevil:
 

Red Rick

Bionic Poster
Yeah this is mostly about where you're from and what sport is more popular there, as well as the age group and what social media you use. I'd think Federer fans lean older than LeBron on average, etc.

Overall it's probably decided by Asia alone lol, but I don't know if tennis is bigger in Asia than basketball
 

Dilexson

Hall of Fame
Possibly so. But he's not as popular in Asia as Jordan used to be, for some reason. I think the stars of the unipolar moment - including Michael Jackson himself - had a huge advantage that way. Once worldwide curiosity about the US was somewhat satiated, future stars didn't enjoy that 'bounce'.

OTOH Fed is definitely hugely popular across Asia. Like it was with Jordan, even people who don't follow tennis know who Federer is. But I wouldn't say he evokes the fascination Jordan at his peak did. I think Ali was the only other sportsperson with that kind of (or greater) crossover appeal. Yes, if I had to name one universally popular sporting great, it would be Ali.
Spot on regards to Ali. He's one of those (very few) guys who transcended their respective fields and became an icon, like household names similar to Bruce Lee or may be even Michael Jackson. Federer or any of the athletes in the list probably won't reach that status imo, Michael Jordan included(although his merchandise might have a word or two to say about it).
 

Blade0324

Hall of Fame
Basketball may be more popular overall but that makes the fact that Federer is more popular worldwide even more impressive. Besides that Fed is a total class act where Lebron is a total POS!
 

TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
Basketball may be more popular overall but that makes the fact that Federer is more popular worldwide even more impressive. Besides that Fed is a total class act where Lebron is a total POS!
Exactly.

That's why he is world's highest-paid athlete($106.3M) thanks to an unmatched portfolio of lucrative endorsement deals.
 

reaper

Legend
Maybe, but I can’t name a single cricket player and I think that’s technically the second most popular sport in the world.

There are some athletes whose fame surpasses that of their sport. I don't follow athletics but know Usain Bolt. I'm aware of Tom Brady (without knowing what he looks like) despite not following American football.
 

clout

Hall of Fame
Possibly so. But he's not as popular in Asia as Jordan used to be, for some reason. I think the stars of the unipolar moment - including Michael Jackson himself - had a huge advantage that way. Once worldwide curiosity about the US was somewhat satiated, future stars didn't enjoy that 'bounce'.

OTOH Fed is definitely hugely popular across Asia. Like it was with Jordan, even people who don't follow tennis know who Federer is. But I wouldn't say he evokes the fascination Jordan at his peak did. I think Ali was the only other sportsperson with that kind of (or greater) crossover appeal. Yes, if I had to name one universally popular sporting great, it would be Ali.
I'm North American so LeBron is definitely more well known here than Fed but in other parts of the world I really am not sure. Basketball is huge in Asia (the most populous continent in the world) so I think that gives LeBron a very safe edge despite Fed probably being more popular in Europe & Australia.
 

clout

Hall of Fame
Yeah I'm not sure why that user considers basketball a growing sport in Canada. Maybe in terms of player development. But I always remember Michael Jordan being way more popular in Canada than Lebron is.
It is a growing sport here. Look at viewership & merchandise sales from 10 years ago compared to now....massive jumps across the board.
 

WhiskeyEE

G.O.A.T.
It is a growing sport here. Look at viewership & merchandise sales from 10 years ago compared to now....massive jumps across the board.
10 years ago the Raptors won 22 games. Lets see how ratings look if that happens again. The Raptors were a garbage team for a long time and now they have been a top team for a while. Apparently a 2001 game held the Raptors ratings record for 13 years until they became a top team in 2014.

I'm not saying that there isn't any growth at all. But you are understating how popular basketball has always been in Canada. As I said 2 years ago, it was probably always (a distant 2nd) to hockey.

What was bigger than basketball in the early 2000s? Especially during the Vince Carter days. MLB has always been seen as boring at least by my generation and NFL was always seen as foreign. We don't even have a real pro football team.

Pretty much anyone who watched sports in the early 2000s at least followed the Raptors. Although maybe not the older generations because the Raptors were a newer franchise. And things like Jordan/the Bulls and NBA Jam were massive in the 90s.
 
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