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
German, 20, Tennis
Burgeoning talent beginning to live up to the promise.
Representatives: Patricio Apey, ACE Group
Key partners: Adidas, Head, Peugeot, Richard Mille
2016 ranking: New entry
In men’s tennis, any victory from an up-and-comer over one of the sport’s big boys has become a prompt for the commentariat to fall over themselves to crown the new king. This may be more indicative of stagnation at the game’s top end - or at least the stubborn longevity of its dominant champions - than any young star’s individual quality, yet it felt like there was something a little different about Alexander ‘Sascha’ Zverev’s defeat of Novak Djokovic in this year’s Italian Open final.
Swiftly despatching the former world number one in straight sets, it was not only the result but the nature of Zverev’s dominance that stood out; even in the midst of a difficult spell for Djokovic, it carried the hallmarks of a major new player’s arrival on the scene.
“Honestly, there is nothing about him that does not impress me.” - Patrick McEnroe, ESPN analyst and former head of player development at the United States Tennis Association.
The nation that produced Boris Becker and Steffi Graf has been waiting for a new tennis hero more or less ever since and, should Zverev get even halfway toward reaching the heights of that pair, he will have the eyes of all Germany upon him, with any potential sponsors - especially those based in Europe’s richest, most populous nation, such as his kit supplier Adidas - poised to reap the benefits. AN