Cam Newton has always been in the spotlight since he led the Auburn Tigers to a BCS National Championship. The Carolina Panthers selected the quarterback with the first overall pick and while he has been well known during his time in the NFL, he saw his popularity explode last season during the team's Super Bowl run.
According to ESPN, his popularity isn't just within the United States as they ranked him the 32nd most famous athlete in the world. He also was the highest ranked NFL player ahead of Peyton Manning at 38, Odell Beckham Jr. who was 40th and Drew Brees at 44th.
The rankings were based on a number of factors and they determined the rankings by starting 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."
Newton is active on social media and has 1.9 million likes on Facebook, along with over 719,000 followers on Twitter. However, he has his biggest following on Instagram, where he has over 2.8 million followers. In addition to his social media footprint, fans can find Newton on Nickeloden this summer as his TV show, 'All In with Cam Newton, will be debuting this week, June 3rd at 8 PM.
Last year was Newton's best season in the NFL, finishing with over 3,500 passing yards and 45 total touchdowns (35 passing, 10 rushing). He helped lead the Panthers to a 15-1 regular season record and was named the league MVP. He finished second in jersey sales at the quarterback position behind only Tom Brady on NFLShop.com.