Tennis champ Roger Federer has topped a list of the world’s most marketable sports stars, capping a strong showing for the racket and ball sport with no less than seven entrants in the top 20.
Compiled by the London School of Marketing the list calculates the brand value of sporting stars by gauging their sponsors and advertising income as a percentage of their total earnings, as well as their social media reach.
This found tennis stars led the way with Novak Djokovic coming seventh, Rafael Nadal coming eighth, Maria Sharapova coming twelfth and Serena Williams, twentieth, the latter two being the only women to make it into the top 20.
Jacques de Cock, faculty member at London School of Marketing, said: “He may not have won Wimbledon this year, but it’s Federer’s personal characteristics which sponsors find so attractive.
“There are four main reasons why brands want to be associated with sports stars and the first explains why the list is almost exclusively male; it enables marketers to advertise to the traditionally hard to reach 16 – 30 year old male bracket. Sport is the obvious way to do this due to the ‘hero’ status of many sportsmen.
“Sports stars are also brilliant vessels for increasing brand awareness purely down to the sheer volume of people who watch sport.
“Thirdly, a sports star endorsement can validate product features, especially for sports brands.
“Finally sports stars can boost a brand’s equity. The values attributed to sportsmen (honesty, hard work, dedication, skill, etc.) can be of significant value to brands that are not naturally associated with this, for instance, banking, insurance and utilities.”
It is a disappointing list for patriotic Brits however with only Rory McIlroy in sixth and Andy Murray in sixteenth making the grade.
Top 20 Most Marketable Sports Stars
1. Roger Federer – Tennis
2. Tiger Woods – Golf
3. Phil Mickelson – Golf
4. LeBron James – Basketball
5. Kevin Durant – Basketball
6. Rory McIlroy – Golf
7. Novak Djokovic – Tennis
8. Rafael Nadal – Tennis
9. Mahendra Singh Dhoni – Cricket
10. Cristiano Ronaldo – Football
11. Kobe Bryant – Basketball
12. Maria Sharapova – Tennis
13. Lionel Messi – Football
14. Usain Bolt – Track
15. Neymar – Football
16. Andy Murray – Tennis
17. Kei Nishikori – Tennis
18. Derrick Rose – Basketball
19. Floyd Mayweather – Boxing
20. Serena Williams - Tennis