The social value of Khune the superstar

Fame & Fortune

Itumeleng Khune is one of Kaizer Chiefs’ best goalkeepers in the club’s history and that status has seen his fame sky-rocket off the field during a social media era. Where is Itu’s social media ranking and what is it worth?

When Khune was promoted from the club's academy in 2004, not many would envision the skinny teenager becoming one of the most recognised figures in modern-day South African sporting history.

Synonymous to the Chiefs brand after nearly two decades of service, the 32-year-old boasts a remarkable following of 2.2-million users across all social media platforms.

Itu ranks higher than most PSL clubs combined

On Instagram, his following of 858k followers outrank 14 of the 16 Absa Premiership clubs - excluding Chiefs and Orlando Pirates - by a staggering 189k.

But what has brought about the massive interest and how has the Bafana Bafana shot-stopper benefited from the spotlight? At a quick glance over his Instagram feed, it initially appears as your everyday profile. You are greeted with family photos, images at the gym, relaxing at home, selfies and smiles with close friends.

A marketing dream for advertisers

With an average of 10 000 likes and 12 000 views per post, the quick glance actually showcases a marketing dream for advertisers and sponsors opportunities.

As the 32-year-old closes in on the elusive one-million mark on Instagram, Chris Wrexler, a digital marketing expert reveals the staggering revenue that could be leveraged from the fame. Depending on the authenticity of the followers, engagement rate, interaction and influencers at the one million mark, he could be cashing in on each post.

Earning of up to R1.8-million per post?

International superstars with a similar size audience pull up to $100,000 (R1.8m) per sponsored post from major corporations within the same followers' bracket on Instagram - highlighting the incredible power of social media.

While Khune's actual income accrued online can only be estimated at this point, there's no doubt, no footballer in the country comes close to Mzansi's number one.

Did you know...

'Itu' recently had a baby with his wife Sphelele Makhunga.

Your thoughts, please...

Is Khune your favourite footballer on social media or do you have another player in mind?