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Top 10 Most Marketable Athletes in the world

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It is now five years since Sports Pro first published its first edition of world’s most marketable athletes’ annual list way back in 2010. The last five season have seen several rise and fall of sports stars, seen World Cups and Olympic Games, seen continental championships and Super Bowls, seen many national and international titles come and go, seen several changing-hands of trophies. But interestingly, many sports stars remain the same without any little scratch of their personal brandings, at least for SportsPor.

Just six sports stars in this blue planet have achieved their places in every list of the SportsPor magazine’s annual list: Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Usain Bolt, Lewis Hamilton, Rory McIlroy and Sebastian Vettel. Lightning-Bolt is the only inductee who secured his place in top ten in all six lists since 2010. The places of this years’ list was measured towards the marketing potential of athletes all over the world over the course of next three years. It was measured by which athlete would give brands the best return if they are signed an endorsement deal over that next three years. So let us take a look at the top 10 most marketable athletes in the world.

Top 10 Most Marketable Athletes in the world

10. Usain Bolt

“On the home straight, but not quite over the line yet”

Representatives: Pace Sports Management
Key partners: Puma, Gatorade, Digicell, Regupol, Hublot, Virgin Media, Nissan, Celcom
2014 ranking: 6

Top 10 Most Marketable Athletes in the world

Usain Bolt : The Tenth Most Marketable Athlete in the World

The world has seen the 28-year old Jamaican sprinter resumed his role as world athletics’ entertainer-in-chief while dancing and shimmying his way to the start line. He seems to make the most of it after he declared his final push in his era-long athletic career. Usain Bolt already declared that he will retire after a final Olympics in Rio and the 2017 World Athletics Championships in London. But even during his last days of career, Bolt still attracts more crowds to the track and field meet than any other athlete in the planet, even not the disgraced Justin Gatlin. As Bolt being Bolt at last year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, he made it clear that he is the undisputed champ by his show-stopping cameo as a member of Jamaica’s relay team. Lightning Bolt is inducted in the tenth place in our list of top 10 most marketable athletes in the world 2015.

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9. Katarina Johnson-Thompson

“Heptathlete making a triple bid to be athletics’ golden girl”

Representatives: MTC
Key partners: Nike, Nissan
2014 ranking: 28


Katarina Johnson-Thompson : The Ninth Most Marketable Athlete in the World

British sport found a new favorite as this 22-year old Heptathlete first showed her charisma two and a half years ago in London. The world cherished the imminent appearance of Jessica Ennis on the opening Friday at the Olympic Stadium when a new event of heptathlon 100m hurdles was first introduced. But irrespective of the star studded appearance, the crowd immediately spotted a 19-year-old British entrant. And what the girl did? She giggled spontaneously and gave the best performance of her career. Katarina Johnson-Thompson won the prestigious Götzis meeting last year and also achieved the indoor medals in 2014 and 2015 consecutively. Sports fans are sure that she will deliver her best performance at world championships this year and in Rio next year. Katarina is inducted in the ninth place in our list of top 10 most marketable athletes in the world 2015.

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8. Kei Nishikori

“Asian star looking to hit the top”

Representatives: WME│IMG
Key partners: Jaguar, Adidas, Weider, Wilson, Asahi, Nissin, Tag Heuer, Uniqlo
2014 ranking: New entry


Kei Nishikori : The Eighth Most Marketable Athlete in the World

The 25-year old Japanese tennis star showed his prominence since he turned professional in 2007. The world witnessed Nishikori becoming the only Japanese male tennis player ever to reach the top ten of singles rankings in ATP. He recently achieved his career-high 54 wins and made his first Grand Slam final appearance at the US Open. Recently in April 2015, the Jap-star reached number four position in the ATP ranking. IMG agency tactfully pushed its players to become the face of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics as Kei Nishikori signed a recent sponsorship deal with Japanese company Asahi Breweries. With endless potential, the tennis star seems to progress as one of the most dominant force on tennis court. The tennis-goku is inducted in the eighth place in our list of top 10 most marketable athletes in the world 2015.

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7. Stephen Curry

“The underdog taking the NBA by storm”

Representatives: Octagon
Key Partners: Under Armour, State Farm, Kaiser Permanente, MuscleMilk
2014 ranking: 26


Stephen Curry : The Seventh Most Marketable Athlete in the World


The 27-year old American proved him to be one of the NBA’s standout performers and the current underdog of basketball throughout his brief career from overlooked college recruit to overwhelming choice of MVP. Stephen Curry made an outstanding 286 this year and surpassed his own record of 272 in 2013 for three-pointers in a single season of NBA. He also proved himself as the key-force to make the Golden State Warriors into NBA’s best team by his steady performance after being the seventh overall pick in the 2009 draft. Stephen recently this season led the All-Star fan-voting with a whopping 1.5 million nominations. His number-30 jersey also became the NBA’s second-best seller after superstar LeBron James. The underdog also tops the list of NBA in the recent Celebrity DBI survey by Repucom. He is inducted in the seventh place in our list of top 10 most marketable athletes in the world 2015.

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6. Virat Kohli

“The man now established as the face of Indian cricket”

Representatives: Cornerstone Sport and Entertainment
Key partners: MRF, Adidas, Oakley, Pepsi, Clear, Nestlé
2014 ranking: 2


Virat Kohli : The Sixth Most Marketable Athlete in the World

The 26-year old proved him to be the epitome of the ultra-modern Indian cricketer. Even his Indian team could not defend the ICC Cricket World Cup this year, the cricket-genius deserves his place in the world XI as he showed he belongs to the highest international class. But as a downside, he is accused of sourness as he seems lacking the grace. The cricket star recently came into huge limelight by the coverage of his relationship with Indian actress Anushka Sharma. Virat Kohli is the current captain of India’s Test side and the flagship cricketer of limited-overs team blue. He also showed some diversity by accumulating his stake in FC Goa thus becoming an integral part of the Indian soccer revolution, the Indian Super League. The ingenious cricket-star is inducted in the sixth place in our list of top 10 most marketable athletes in the world 2015.

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5. Lewis Hamilton

“Double world champion aiming to join his sport’s immortals”

Representatives: Purple PR
Key partners: IWC Schaffhausen, Bombardier
2014 ranking: 1

After spending five-season without any title since his 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship victory, the 30-year old British racer showed his class by claiming the title in 2014 ahead of his Mercedes Formula One team-mate Nico Rosberg. Lewis Hamilton gradually climbing the all-time stats leaderboard of Formula One by showing some of his extraordinary skill on the F1 tracks. He is now standing at the fifth position in Grand Prix wins with 33 and also climbed to the seventh place in pole positions with 31. He is also rumored to sign an all-new mega contract with Mercedes which could boost him to achieve the British record of annual salary in sports. The racer is now trying his best to grab his third title which could level him with his hero, Ayrton Senna, in the all-time standings. The ‘Suppa-driver’ is inducted in the fifth place in our list of top 10 most marketable athletes in the world 2015.

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4. Missy Franklin

“World’s finest swimmer and face of Rio ready to sign endorsement deals”

Representatives: WME | IMG
Key partners: Not Yet
2014 ranking: 8


Missy Franklin : The Fourth Most Marketable Athlete in the World

The authority and the media immediately came into conclusion that the 20-year old American swimmer Missy Franklin will be the face of their coverage at Rio 2016 after plenty of long conversations among NBC executives while they sit down to discuss their upcoming plan for the Rio games. She delivered her charisma to the companies which will spent some billions on television rights as she delivered her grace to so many American fans. She showed his class and proved his monumental potential in future days by grabbing four victories at London 2012 and six more at the 2013 world championships. The dazzling swimmer passed up millions in endorsement income for continuing her education at the University of Berkley, California. She joined the team of WME | IMG after leading the Golden Bears to an NCAA title in March this year. The American-mermaid is inducted in the fourth place in our list of top 10 most marketable athletes in the world 2015.

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3.Jordan Spieth

“The golf genius of American dreams”

Representatives: Lagardère Unlimited
Key Partners: Under Armour, AT&T, Rolex, Netjets
2014 ranking: 19


Jordan Spieth : The Third Most Marketable Athlete in the World

America finally has its new golf-man in 21-year old Jordan Spieth, the young Texan who proved his place at the very top of the international game. He proved himself to be the outstanding candidate to carry the US flag after legendary Tiger Woods and also as a long-term adversary to Europe’s Rory McIlroy. The golf-genius came up as the reminiscent of a fearless record-breaking Tiger while leading this year’s Masters throughout from start to finish. Even after his first-time major successes, sadly few would doubt that many more will come. At 21-year age, the godsend golfer has an unmatched peal and ambassadorial maturity. His fans stated that only the consistency will be the key from here on. But tragically, the battle lines have already drawn, its USA vs. Europe, more like Spieth versus McIlroy. The golfing-showcase is inducted in the third place in our list of top 10 most marketable athletes in the world 2015.

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2. Neymar

“Deified at home and now, post-World Cup, on the trophy hunt in Europe”

Representatives: Wagner Ribeiro, Neymar da Silva
Key Partners: Nike, Panasonic, Claro, Volkswagen, Rexona
2014 ranking: 7

Neymar : The Second-Most Marketable Athlete in the World

Neymar : The Second-Most Marketable Athlete in the World

Brazilian soccer’s 23-year old twinkle-toes couldn’t led his team to FIFA World Cup glory last year but nobody was left in any doubt about his grip over his nation by the time the tournament concluded. His absence at the sad 7-1 defeat against Germany didn’t harm his personal brand as he sidelined with a broken bone in his back for Brazil’s semi-final. His teammates showed his prominence even if he is not present at the match-squad while holding a shirt bearing Neymar’s name aloft during the pre-match Brazilian anthem. The gesture showed the reflection of Neymar’s status in Brazil even it was a little bizarre for a big team like Brazil. Neymar, with his amazing hairstyles, is now growing more into his role in his second spell at Spanish club FC Barcelona. The 23-year old proud father recently became the face of Listerine in April. The N of MSN is inducted in the second place in our list of top 10 most marketable athletes in the world 2015.

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1. Eugenie Bouchard

“Poster girl heading for the top of women’s sport – if she can regain her balance”

Representatives: WME│IMG
Key Partners: Nike, Coca-Cola, Babolat, Rogers, Usana Health Sciences
2014 ranking: 13


Eugenie Bouchard : The Most Marketable Athlete in the Planet

The consistency of the 21-year old Canadian tennis beauty while winning her first WTA Tour title and reach two semis and a final in Grand Slams in 2014 has evaporated into an all-too-distant memory. The world has raised questions whether she has the temperament or the talent to reach the ultimate heights after her losing record and a string of first-round exits. But the fact is that she is a ‘work-in-progress’ and will be the future of women’s tennis, at least her die-hard fans thinks so. Eugenie Bouchard recently completed her long-speculated move from Lagardère Unlimited to WME│IMG in December last year. She’ll get the boost from the sports- industry powerhouse which helped turn Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova into the two highest paid athletes in women’s sport universe. The drop-dead-diva of tennis is inducted in the top place in our list of helped turn Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova into the two highest earners in women’s sport.

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Three of the most cherished names in Sports Universe, David Beckham, Roger Federer and Sachin Tendulkar, are the perfect examples that suggest that omission form world’s most marketable athletes annual list might not have anything to do with bad-patch, stardom or brand appeal. There are several such inductees are there in this year’s list who got their place due to the much-awaited upcoming Rio games next year. Let’s take a look at the whole list:

The Complete List ⇒

[table id=63 /]

Top 10 Most Marketable Athletes in the world

1. Eugenie Bouchard
2. Neymar
3. Jordan Spieth
4. Missy Franklin
5. Lewis Hamilton
6. Virat Kohli
7. Stephen Curry
8. Kei Nishikori
9. Katarina Johnson-Thompson
10. Usain Bolt

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