This week SportsPro will be announcing the most marketable athlete on the planet for 2018, as the leading sports business publication unveils its annual list of the world’s 50 Most Marketable Athletes for the ninth time.
Focusing on marketing potential over the coming three-year period, the list once again sees athletes from across the world ranked according to criteria including age, home market, charisma, willingness to be marketed and crossover appeal, following several weeks of analysis by the SportsPro editorial team and external industry experts.
In a departure from previous years, however, the 2018 edition of #SP50MM has also been informed by a new criteria: the Hookit Marketability Score. Generated using data provided by Hookit, SportsPro’s official data partner, the score provides a unique and exclusive measure of an athlete’s influence on social media, highlighting engagement rates across their promoted posts on four of the main platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
Full commercial profiles of all 50 athletes, including comprehensive analysis of each and every entry, will be published on our dedicated 50 Most Marketable portal, starting Monday 3rd September, with a countdown from 50 to one over five days culminating with the release of the top ten on 7th September.
Last year, British boxing star Anthony Joshua topped the eighth annual SportsPro 50 Most Marketable Athletes list for the first time. This year, there are 22 American athletes on the list, as well as six from the UK and three from Brazil. In total, 18 nationalities are represented across 19 sports, with the average age of the athletes ranked being 23.88. For the first time in the history of 50MM, an esports player has been named on the list, largely in recognition of the extent to which competitive video gaming has come to infiltrate mainstream sports consciousness in a major way.
“As ever, this year’s list is sure to surprise and dissatisfy in equal measure, but it should nevertheless serve as a compelling snapshot of the business of athlete marketing as it stands today,” said SportsPro editor Michael Long. "Many of the names are breakthrough acts who are poised to headline sport’s biggest stages. For marketers looking to spend their budgets in sport, these are the 50 athletes to invest in now.”
Tom Bassam, digital editor at SportsPro, added: “The list was carefully considered and hotly debated but the finished article is certainly strong. This year we really wanted to focus on the future of the sports industry, hence the broad spread of sports represented and the inclusion of an esports athlete for the first time.”
The list will be revealed here:
And the Hookit Marketability Score is fully explained here: