Katie Ledecky ranked 21st most marketable athlete of 2022

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50MM: Katie Ledecky ranked 21st most marketable athlete of 2022

Portuguese football icon Cristiano Ronaldo has been named the most marketable athlete on the planet for 2022, with the Manchester United player topping SportsPro’s latest global rankings. Meanwhile, Katie Ledecky ranked No. 21, an impressive feat in a non-Olympic year.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner, 37, has an impressive marketable score of 91.21 out of a possible 100, putting him some distance ahead of the now-retired tennis star. Serena Williams in second and seven-time Formula 1 world champion Sir Lewis Hamilton in third.

Now in its 13th year, SportsPro’s 50 Most Marketable (50MM) platform empowers sports marketers to make smart sponsorship decisions through the application of comprehensive data analytics, advanced media monitoring social, economic evaluations and consumer information.

This year’s updated ranking methodology, developed in partnership with NorthStar Solutions Group, has been designed to paint the most comprehensive picture of athlete marketing in the sports industry, combining on-field performance and factors off-pitch such as personal brand development, audience reach and engagement. , and social impact.

With 22 women on the list, the 2022 ranking is the most diverse yet. The continued rise of women’s football around the world has proven a driving factor, with the Chelsea striker Sam Kerrthe joint face of EA Sports’ FIFA 23 game this year, the highest new entry at number nine.

As in previous years, football remains the most represented sport in the ranking with 17 players, while tennis is second with nine. A total of 14 Americans and seven former number ones also feature, with gymnast Olivia Dunne ranked 44e, the only college athlete to make the list. The average age of athletes is 30, which is higher than ever, while Nike has 22 sponsored athletes in the roster, more than any other brand.

Dunne’s countryman and fellow gymnast Simone Bilesranked number one in 2021, drops to 11e This year. Only three athletes who were in the top ten last year have retained their place among the top-ranked names – Ronaldo, Naomi Osaka and Alex Morgan.

Michael Long, Editorial Director of SportsPro, said: “Who is the most marketable athlete on the planet today? At SportsPro, we have asked ourselves this question every year since 2010, and each year the process of answering it provides fascinating insight into the marketing activity of athletes. athletes.

“Marketing can be defined in many ways, but what’s clear from our in-depth evaluation is that each of the athletes on this year’s diverse roster deliver tremendous value to their brand partners. Not only are they highly visible elite performers in their respective sports, but their individual reach and influence and, in many cases, their willingness to speak out on social issues position them as ideal ambassadors for companies that seek to communicate authentically with consumers.

Chris Collins, President of NorthStar said: “NorthStar is thrilled to present this year’s 50 Most Marketable Athletes list. SportsPro and its associated partners have a long history of providing compelling, insightful and thought-provoking athlete marketing content and I am honored to be a part of carrying on that tradition.

“I am immensely proud of our team here at NorthStar and grateful for the commitment and contributions of our partners at SportsPro, D-Tag Analytics, Zomph and SponsorPulse who helped make the 2022 50 Most Marketable Athletes list possible. I look forward to the next two years as we continue our partnership with SportsPro and other interested partners to grow the roster and be at the forefront of the ever-evolving athlete marketing conversation.

SportsPro’s 50 Most Marketable Athletes in 2022 – The Top 10:

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo, footballer, 37 years old
  2. Serena Williams, tennis, 41 years old
  3. Lewis Hamilton, Motorsport, 37
  4. LeBron James, Basketball, 37 years old
  5. Lionel Messi, Football, 35 years old
  6. Naomi Osaka, tennis, 25 years old
  7. Virat Kohli, cricketer, 33 years old
  8. Alex Morgan, footballer, 33 years old
  9. Sam Kerr, footballer, 29 years old
  10. Tom Brady, footballer, 45 years old

For the full list of the World’s 50 Most Marketable Athletes, head to SportsPro’s dedicated 50MM content hub at www.sportspro50mm.com. Join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #SP50MM.

50MM: the methodology

Athletes are ranked based on their “marketability score,” which is broken down into three separate scoring elements: brand strength, audience and reach, and economy. These weighted scores were added together to generate an overall marketability score out of 100, with each athlete assigned a score proportional to the top performer for each metric.

The brand strength score, which carries a maximum score of 20, is determined by individual factors such as an athlete’s competitive performance, citizenship and risk profile. Audience and reach – with a maximum score of 50 – includes factors such as brand awareness and direction, subscriber engagement and demographic reach, and consumer perception and sentiment.

Meanwhile, the Economic Score, which carries a maximum score of 30, goes beyond the traditional financial measure of return on investment to assess market demand for the athlete, their proactive engagement on social or environmental issues and its growth potential.

How is the 50 Most Marketable Athletes list generated?

In order to be considered eligible for this year’s roster, an athlete must have been active during the judging period (1st December 2021 to 31st July 2022) in one of the 24 sports analysed*. They must also have been listed as a primary starter if they are participating in a team sport, actively training for the next Olympic competition, or competing in the annual World Championships.

In order to narrow down the full population of eligible athletes to a plausible list of most globally marketable athletes, a starting list of athletes has been compiled based on:

  • Any athlete on SportsPro’s 50 Most Marketable Athletes list in 2021
  • Top ten ranked athletes according to current rankings based on rankings available on official league websites or publicly available sports statistics databases
  • Any athlete who has appeared on recent sports and non-sports rosters and awards shows etc. (e.g. ESPY Awards, Forbes Highest Paid Athletes, Best Dressed, Most Influential, Most Philanthropic, Vocal on DEI and ESG related topics, Influencer in Trending Social Values, etc.)

This first analysis produced a starting list of 700 athletes. Due to the paucity of complete and holistic athlete data sets, the following screening items have been added to further narrow the list:

  • Has the athlete generated meaningful coverage of web and social media conversations from fans and media?
  • Was the athlete consistently on the personal brand development lists described above?
  • Did the athlete raise any immediate red flags following a brand risk assessment?

This process generated a list of 120 athletes to perform a comprehensive and in-depth analysis, before the aforementioned scoring model was applied to arrive at this year’s 50 Most Marketable Athletes.

* American Football, Baseball, Basketball, Boxing, Cricket, Cycling, Esports, Field Hockey, Golf, Gymnastics, Mixed Martial Arts, Ice Hockey, Motorsports, Olympics, Paralympics, Rugby, Skateboarding, Skiing , football, surfing, snowboarding, tennis, table tennis, athletics. Note that this list takes into account multiple league-level entities (for example, we looked at five different global soccer leagues), gender-specific leagues (basketball, golf, tennis, etc.), and levels of competition ( for example, academic or professional).

What expertise was used to validate the ranking?

To compile this year’s list of 50 Most Marketable Athletes, NorthStar led a multidisciplinary team with expertise in sports, marketing, social media and data science. Specialist data partners D-Tag Analytics, SponsorPulse and Zomph provided valuable data and analysis that fed into the scoring metrics and shaped the final rankings. An additional layer and acid test of consumer and expert information ensured the validity and robust nature of the metrics.

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