Like and Subscribe: Athletes Earn Cash on YouTube

Jan 13, 2020 by

Gone are the days of CrossFit athletes waiting around for elusive sponsorship deals to fund their careers.

It’s 2020 baby! And social media has given the Fittest on Earth a platform to share their training, nutrition and lifestyle tips, and to get paid in the process.

YouTube is proving a decent cash cow for athletes willing to put in the time to film and edit content.

The catch: The site requires 4,000 hours of video view time and 1,000 subscribers to be eligible to earn money from advertisements. For most athletes those numbers could barely be classified as a day at the office

  • Jacob Heppner quit his day job and started sharing his adventures with Winston now 51,000 subscribers follow along.  
  • Cole Sager boasts slightly fewer subscribers (35k) but his most popular video–Tips on Double Unders–has attracted a mammoth 167,000 views.
  • Kara Saunders started documenting her postpartum comeback just two months ago. Already her following has grown to 12,700 subscribers.
  • Kristi Eramo has been churning out content since taking a break from individual competition. Like Saunders she’s fairly new to the game but has produced 77 videos–on average–one every two days!
  • Annie Thorrisdottir’s not vlogging per se but certainly increased her content distribution during the Open. We love watching this woman workout–clearly so do her 26,000 subscribers!
  • Tia-Clair Toomey also posts sporadically, but more than 40,000 subscribers still follow along.
  • Willy Georges has racked up more than 2, 000 subscribers less than a week since joining the Tube.
  • Honourable mention also goes to Noah Olsen & Dan Bailey for keeping the content churning on their channels.
  • Team CrossFit Mayhem boasts a hefty 210k subscribers too.

How much cash are we talking? We spoke to a number of athletes turned vloggers who didn’t wish to disclose the exact figure, but all say their YouTubing earns them a cool couple of thousand dollars each month.

Jacob Heppner told the Morning Chalk Up that payment from videos varies a lot. “There are a lot of things that play a part,” he said.

How it works? Most of the cash comes from Google Adsense, but many have also told the Morning Chalk Up the amount varies depending on the type of video, who is watching, where and when.

Time of year plays a big part and around the Open and the Games there’s a lot more natural interest in the sport. Heppner said: “Any content creator in the YouTube space has the potential to make more” during this time.

It’s also important to consider videographers like the Buttery Bros have led the way in seeking out brand partnerships. Now athletes alike are increasingly partnering with various companies to produce content. They’re getting paid to produce the videos and showcase products. That’s in addition to the money generated from advertisements. Win, win.


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