Missy Franklin

50 Most Marketable 2016 - Missy Franklin

Missy Franklin


Athletes from across the world have been ranked according to their marketing potential over a three-year period from this summer.

  • Value for money
  • Age
  • Home market
  • Charisma
  • Willingness to be marketed
  • Crossover appeal

American, 21, Swimming

The leading US Olympian with the potential to go beyond Rio

Representatives: WME|IMG

Key partners: Speedo, Wheaties, GoPro

2015 ranking: 4


Missy Franklin has been part of the collective sporting consciousness for so long that it is slightly astonishing to think that she is still only 21. After breaking through in such breathtaking fashion at the London Olympics four years ago while still in high school, taking four gold medals, she became the most in-demand Olympian for years.

Her decision to continue at college level cost her, according some industry analysts, between US$2 million and US$5 million in earnings. But it also ramped up the anticipation and, thanks to some canny manoeuvring from Mark Ervin, the agent she personally chose to work with at WME|IMG on turning pro last year, put her in an even stronger position to capitalise on her position as the face of Team USA at this summer’s Olympic Games.

In the last 12 months Franklin has signed major long-term deals with Speedo, Wheaties and GoPro, been included in the ‘Team Visa’ Olympic campaign, and featured in one-off promotions for the likes of United Airlines and Minute Maid. It is an impressive list and one that is almost certain to grow, along with her medal collection, after Rio.

Swimming itself may be a niche sport, at least compared to other disciplines in this top ten. But Franklin’s clean-cut, media-friendly image, her incredible athletic talents, and her keen business sense give her every chance of becoming the most visible Olympic athlete in the most successful Olympic nation of all time. AN

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