Professional sports is a business, the athletes are the products, and the fans are the customers. As a diehard fan, it’s easy to forget this a lot of times when you’re caught up in the game but that’s all it really is.
For the 10th year in a row, SportsProMedia has released their list of the most marketable athletes in the world using their ‘Promotional Effectiveness (PE) Score’ which is a grading system with a maximum of 100 points. This score is made up of five subscores and it measures and athletes total marketability based on things like their social media posting habits, content creation, and fan/follower engagement on promoted content.
According to SPM’s report this year, the idea is to evaluate how effective of a promoter each athlete is and the formula projects their overall marketing potential in the upcoming three-year period. It accounts for age, size of the potential market/fanbase, crossover appeal in other sports, the athlete’s charisma, and their willingness to be marketed.
Coming in at #1 on the 2019 list of THE MOST MARKETABLE athlete in the ENTIRE WORLD is 21-year-old Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka with an overall Promotional Effectiveness Score of 76 out of 100 points. She’s already partnered with Nike and Mastercard as well as others and is the biggest rising star in professional tennis.
Interestingly, the highest-ranked NFL player in the world is Saquon Barkley at #17. Clearly, the NFL is being held back by having its core base in the United States with sports like the NBA, Soccer, Tennis, and Racing all having much more global appeal.
Here’s what this year’s top 30 Most Marketable Athletes in the World list looks like according to SportsProMedia’s analysis:
30. Son Heung-Min, soccer player for Tottenham Hotspur (my team)
29. Christian Pulisic, soccer player for Chelsea in the PL
28. Odell Beckham Jr., Cleveland Browns
27. Ada Hegerberg, Norwegian women’s soccer player
26. Katie Ledecky, Swimmer for Team USA
24. Mikaela Shiffrin, Skiier from the USA
23. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers
21. Adam Peaty, Men’s British Swimmer
20. Dominic Thiem, Austrian Tennis Player
19. Max Verstappen, Dutch Formula One racer
18. Anthony Joshua, British Boxer
17. Saquon Barkley, New York Giants
16. Alexander Zverev, German Tennis Player
15. Virat Kohil, Indian Cricket Player
14. Chloe Kim, American Snowboarder
12. Leticia Bufoni, Brazilian Skateboarder
11. Paul Pogba, French striker for Manchester United
10. Simone Biles, American gymnast
9. Dina Asher-Smith, British Track and Field star
8. Charles Leclerc, Monégasque, 22, Formula One
6. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Greek NBA star
5. Kylian Mbappe, French striker for PSG and soccer superstar
4. Megan Rapinoe, USWNT soccer player
3. Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans
2. Raheem Sterling, Manchester City + England Soccer star
1. Naomi Osaka, Tennis star
The 2019 list over on SportsProMedia ranks the top 50 athletes in the world. So if you’d like to see the athlete’s ranked from #50 through 31 then you can click here to see the full list over on their website which has detailed information on the scores for each superstar and how these marketability scores were calculated.
The ceiling is SO DAMN HIGH for Zion Williamson if he stays healthy.