Research Briefing: The 2024 Met Gala hosted more athletes than social media stars – Glossy

In this edition of the Glossy+ Research Briefing, we take a look at why more sports stars have been invited to the Met Gala in recent years than social media influencers.

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Celebrity athletes more often make the Met Gala’s guest list than internet influencers do. That’s based on a Glossy+ Research analysis of the number of sports stars who have attended the Met Gala in recent years versus the number of social media influencers who have attended. In fact, the number of influencers present at the gala has declined over the past two years, with only Emma Chamberlain and Addison Rae receiving return invites within the past four years.

Meanwhile, Olympic athletes such as Serena Williams, Russell Westbrook and Dwayne Wade have each been invited three times over the past four years. Even tennis champion Roger Federer was given the honor of co-chairing the event last year with film stars Michaela Coel and Penelope Cruz and singer Dua Lipa. Star athletes have loyal fanbases, which have proven to be great consumer segments for fashion brands like Nike and luxury labels like Louis Vuitton to break into. Could sports stars be the new class of sought after brand influencers?

NIL deals have given young college athletes control over their personal brands. Since the NCAA lifted a ban prohibiting athletes from selling the rights to their names, images and likenesses in 2021, these young stars have wasted no time building a portfolio of brand partnerships. This likely played a part in WNBA rookie Angel Reese receiving a coveted invite to attend the Met Gala three days after debuting with the Chicago Sky. “I work with an amazing group and I’ve always been into fashion,” Reese said, according to Chicago’s WGN-TV. “My marketing team, they’ve done a great job and got me the invite. I don’t really know the ins and outs, they just told me I was invited.”

Although influencers had a smaller guest presence at this year’s Met Gala, the event was broadcast more heavily across social media platforms, especially on this year’s lead sponsor TikTok. TikTok signed a multi-billion dollar deal with Anna Wintour to sponsor the Met Gala exhibition and benefit gala, which gave the social platform behind-the-scenes access to the event. TikTok even hosted an official live stream on the app and hosted an after-party with Stella McCartney.

Internet personalities Reece Feldman (@guywithamoviecamera on Instagram) and Estefania Vanegas Pessoa (@hellotefi on TikTok) were given exclusive access to conduct red carpet interviews at the gala, bringing inside coverage of the event to internet viewers. That coverage resulted in large amounts of audience engagement, such as Pessoa’s interview of Jeff Goldblum, which amassed over 7 million views and 1.4 million likes as of writing.

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