Athletes from across the world have been ranked according to their marketing potential over a three-year period from this summer.
- Value for money
- Home market
- Willingness to be marketed
- Crossover appeal
Canadian, 19, Ice Hockey
The next one arriving at the right time for Canadian ice hockey
Representatives: Orr Hockey Group
Key partners: Reebok-CCM, CIBC, BioSteel
2015 ranking: New entry
‘The Next One’ is a title that is expectant and dismissive all at once, given to those young Canadian ice hockey players who might one day emulate ‘the Great One’, Wayne Gretzky. The latest to bear the label is a teenager turning out in Gretzky’s old Edmonton Oilers uniform: Connor McDavid.
In a debut National Hockey League (NHL) season limited by injury, McDavid was still able to show enough intelligence, composure and constructive forward play on the ice to suggest that such auspicious comparisons may not be misplaced. Already signed to a long-term deal with Reebok-CCM, he is being primed for an ambassadorial role off the rink as well.
He is emerging at the right time for his sport. Ice hockey is massively popular in the colder pockets of the world but its biggest league hasn’t yet reached its potential overseas – something a new digital partnership with MLBAM, and an international branding push built around September’s World Cup of Hockey, could rectify. A bankable, likeable breakout performer would be a welcome asset.
McDavid graced this year’s world championships in Russia, scoring Canada's opener in their 2-0 win over Finland in the gold medal match, but the participation of NHL stars at the Olympics is a subject of perpetual doubt. Nevertheless, his name should be one known far beyond North America in the years ahead. EC
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