From a marketing perspective, Instagram has proven to be one of the most effective social platforms due to its visual nature. Video, imagery and illustration are all fundamental components when building a personal brand. This is a core factor that makes the crossover sports scene a very entertaining and fascinating trend across the sports industry.
Across the digital space, there’s an ongoing debate around what matters more, followers or engagement. Both are important when building a brand; however, engagement rates are key because they signify how involved your audience is with your content. The engagement rate is generally defined by metrics, including likes, comments, shares etc.
In the influencer-led sports space, it’s crucial that crossover athletes have engaged communities to ensure they’re invested in their brands enough to want to see them compete, which can convert into ticket sales. Therefore, considering the importance of Instagram and engagement, I have identified the top 10 most engaged athletes on Instagram in the crossover combat sports scene; let’s see what makes them stand out.
Number 10: Jay Swingler
By trade, Jay is a YouTuber but most recently has become a multi-purposed entrepreneur through his new project, Childish Energy. Childish Energy is a zero-sugar energy drink brand which is targeted towards gym-goers and similar characters.
On Instagram (IG), most of Jay’s content consists of fight promotion, boxing training clips, short-form content exported from his YouTube channel, promo for his business endeavours such as merchandise and e-commerce, and giveaways alongside plenty of uploads promoting his appetite for retro style clothing.
Jay’s upload schedule is relatively inconsistent; as he’s become more involved in the YouTube boxing scene, he’ll tend to upload more to his IG account during the promo. But having said that, it’s worked out well for him, considering that he’s still one of the most highly engaged personalities across the crossover boxing community.
Number 9: KSI
The man that needs no introduction, KSI! Considering how busy this man’s content schedule is, it’s no surprise to see him in the top 10. KSI IG content game consists of the following: boxing training, fight promotion, sponsorship endorsements, Sidemen associated-endeavours and festival/concert clips.
Typically, KSI will upload to his IG channel 2-3 times a month. Despite this not sounding like a lot, we’ve all heard the phrase ‘quality over quantity’; plus, it gives your audience more of an appetite when you do upload because they’re curious to hear from you more often.
Broadly speaking, KSIs IG stats consist of the following: 282+ media uploads, 12m+ followers, following 577 accounts, 5.76% engagement rate, average likes of 730k+, average comments of 3k+.
What can we learn from KSIs IG strategy? Well, to build a successful brand on Instagram, when it comes to uploads, favour quality over quantity.
Number 8: DTG
DTG has an accolade of endeavours under his belt, from being a music artist, Twitch gamer to entering the influencer boxing scene.
DTGs IG content portfolio consists of highlighting his achievements, endorsements from other celebs in similar industries to himself and being pictured at sports events.
Collectively, DTG has 92 media uploads, over 100k followers, follows 3k+ accounts, an engagement rate of 5.83%, an average like figure of 5.7k and 140 comments per post.
DTG uploads at least once a month to his IG channel. Whether you’re a creator or representing a brand, what you can learn from DTGs IG strategy is to ensure your content illustrates the achievements you’ve made so that you can establish your credibility online.
Number 7: Austin McBroom
Austin McBroom, one of the innovators in the crossover boxing space. He was the former founder of the promotion, Social Gloves, but despite the initiative not being around any longer, he remains a pivotal figure in the digital community.
Majority of McBroom’s content involves fight promo, memories with his wife and children and training footage.
Austin obtains 598 media uploads, 6.2m+ followers, a 7.66% engagement rate, 474k+ likes per post, 2.1k+ comments per post.
Typically, the Ace family member tends to upload 5 pieces of media per day. But what can we learn about how Austin handles his account? Ultimately, each piece of content on his IG grid represents his personality and interests, a fundamental factor to building a personal brand.
Number 6: Deji
Deji, also known as comedygamer, tends to orientate his IG content game around achievements throughout his boxing journey, training footage and behind the scenes content at events he fights at.
The younger brother of KSI has 312 media uploads, 3.1m+ followers, follows 360 accounts, an engagement rate of 11.82%, 374k likes per post alongside 2.2k comments on average per post.
Deji aims to upload to his IG channel about once a month. Similar to other creators, they follow the quality over quantity approach. The reason this works is because your fans become more curious about what is happening with your brand, which instigates the chances of gaining more traction.
Number 5: Tommy Fury
Tommy’s IG content predominantly consists of personal life updates, training footage, fight promo and general modelling pics.
Tommy has over 870+ media uploads, 5.1m+ followers, 725+ accounts that he’s following, a 12.01% engagement rate, 612k+ likes and 3.5k+ comments per post.
Fury’s upload schedule is updated once every few days. With Tommy’s content, the biggest learning curve relating to how he’s ranked number 5 for engagement is likely due to the personal life updates he shares as your online community will naturally become more invested into your brand.
Number 4: Landon McBroom
Landon McBroom, the brother of Austin McBroom, regularly uploads family updates and general modelling pics which promote the lavish lifestyle the YouTuber intends to live.
Landon has 23 media uploads, 1m+ followers, follows 34 accounts, a 12.31% engagement rate, 121k+ comments per post and 2.7k+ comments.
McBroom tends to upload rather inconsistently, there isn’t a clear pattern but according to his results, there doesn’t seem to need to be.
Number 3: Faith Ordway
Faith made her influencer boxing debut in January this year against Elle Brooke. Her IG content includes fight promo, herself trying new experiences, workout clips and modelling styled photos.
Ordway possesses 96 media uploads, 1m+ followers, follows 846 accounts, a 12.35% engagement rate, 132k+ likes per post and 376k comments per post.
With Faith’s content, the lesson to learn includes to make the most of your figure and also look to repurpose your content, which is something Faith does on occasions. For example, reuploading her TikToks as Reels.
Number 2: King Kenny
Kenny’s content on IG includes fight announcements, fight clips, shouting out other pages alongside nostalgic themed content including body transformations, former throwback pictures and more.
The Beta squad member has 68 media uploads, 393k+ followers, 420 followers, a 14.34% engagement rate, 55k+ likes per post, 486 comments per post.
It’s clear Kenny has become super invested into the crossover boxing landscape, for this reason, he only tends to upload regularly around the time of fight promotions. A lesson to learn from Kenny includes to build a like-minded network, such as, what he has with the Beta Squad. A group of friends who get up to lots of crazy stuff. But it isn’t just that, it allows you to cross your audiences over and become a more grown personality in the digital space.
Number 1: AnesonGib
None other than AnesonGib claims the number one spot in the crossover boxing community. AnesonGib’s IG content orientates around fight content, such as announcements, highlights, workout pictures and clips.
Gib’s got 109 media uploads, 956k+ followers, 129 followers, a 16.98% engagement rate 161k+ likes and 1k+ comments per post.
It’s fair to say AnesonGib has undergone the biggest transformation in the crossover boxing community. For example, in the build up towards the Austin McBroom, in the face-to-face, the London lad openly admitted that he couldn’t do a push-up until he was 21 years of age. The is a major reason why Gib is one of the most highly engaged personalities in the space and it also comes down to his creative flair around his announcements, one prime example involves his announcement for entering the Kingpyn tournament.
There’s various factors which contribute towards high engagement on IG. But in the context of crossover boxing, the likes of consistency, but that also works in reverse, for example, if you don’t upload so often, this will keep your audience curious if executed towards the right timeframes. Plus, be as open as possible with your audience, this helps yourself build authentic connections with your demographic who will invest in your brand (e.g. likely to buy tickets, merchandise, advocate for you etc.)