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Just How Famous Is Andrew Luck?

Intro: Ben Alamar, who is the director of sports analytics at ESPN, wanted to know who the most famous athletes in the world are. His formula and its results — released this week — includes a certain Indianapolis Colts quarterback (and a former one).


INDIANAPOLIS — Cristiano Ronaldo. LeBron James. Tiger Woods.

Andrew Luck?

While Indianapolis Colts fans have enjoyed watching No. 12's career evolve since his No. 1-overall selection in the 2012 NFL Draft, some might wonder where exactly Luck's popularity falls among the thousands of recognizable athletes across the world.

Actually, Ben Alamar, the director of sports analytics at ESPN, had this same general thought. And he has the know-how to actually try to figure out the question: who are the most famous athletes in the world?

His methodology is pretty interesting: using a formula that includes certain factors — like Google search popularity, salary, social media following and endorsements — Alamar this week released his "ESPN World Fame 100 rankings," listing the 100 most recognizable athletes in the world.

The aforementioned Ronaldo? No. 1 — no surprise there. King James? No. 2. Woods? Still ranked No. 7, despite having not won a major in years.

So where does Luck rank? He falls in at No. 69.


Of all active NFL players, Luck is actually the ninth most-recognizable player, behind No. 32 Cam Newton, No. 40 Odell Beckham Jr., No. 44 Drew Brees, No. 49 Russell Wilson, No. 52 Tom Brady, No. 53 Aaron Rodgers, No. 56 J.J. Watt and No. 66 Eli Manning.

And what about non-active NFL players? Well the beloved Peyton Manning, who announced his retirement following his second-career Super Bowl victory earlier this year, comes in at No. 38.

Here's what the research says about Luck, via ESPN’s Thomas Neumann:

*Salary/winnings: $3M Endorsements: $6M Facebook likes: 492K Twitter followers: NA

IT'S GOOD TO BE Poised to earn $65 million to $70 million in the first three years of his next contract. Luck passed for 12,957 yards from 2012-14, the highest total in NFL history for a player in his first three seasons, before being limited by injury last season.

PEAK MOMENT It probably hasn't happened yet. So far, we can point to his 2014 season, in which he led the league with 40 touchdown passes and guided Indy to the AFC Championship Game. He also eclipsed Peyton Manning to set a Colts franchise record for single-season passing yards with 4,761.

JUST SAYING "Biggest lesson I learned my first year in the NFL is no one gives a crap about what you did last week." -- Luck in 2013*

Analysis: First off, we'll get this out of the way: Luck would/will probably smile and laugh about this ranking, but we all know winning football games remains his priority.

I mean, the guy still have a flip phone and never established his own Twitter account.

Had Luck been on Twitter, I'm sure he'd have a million followers by now, and occasional "@AndrewLuck12: Rise and grind! #ColtsNation" tweets could've helped pushed him up a few more spots on this list.

Luck's only real Twitter venture, the Andrew Luck Book Club (@ALBookClub), which was launched only recently, allows the Stanford product to spread his love of reading to fans young and old.

Anyway, with Luck's representatives and the Colts continuing talks on a new contract for the fifth-year quarterback, stay tuned to see how this could affect his ranking on this ESPN list.

In the meantime, Luck and his teammates will actually only worry about one other ranking: where they fall by the end of the 2016 NFL season.

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