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
Singaporean, 20, MMA
One of the hottest prospects in global MMA
Key partners: Under Armour, Evolve MMA, United MMA, Asian Pacific Investments, Venum Apparel
2016 ranking: 48
Angela ‘Unstoppable’ Lee shot to mixed martial arts fame when she claimed ONE Championship’s inaugural women’s atomweight title in May 2016. Since then, the undefeated star has defended her belt twice, including most recently against Brazil’s Istela Nunes during a sell-out event in Singapore in May.
Described as ‘the new Ronda Rousey’, Lee is one of the hottest prospects in global MMA. Now there is mounting speculation that she is being primed for an unprecedented cross-promotional showdown with Joanna Jedrzejczyk of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), an encounter that would be sure to whip up widespread international attention.
“If a brand is looking for a young, talented, articulate, charismatic female, the youngest female world champion who has dedicated her life to the values of martial arts, of respect, honour, integrity, loyalty, dedication, hard work, Angela Lee is a perfect representative.” - Victor Cui, ONE Championship chief executive, international.
As the poster girl of her sport in Asia, Lee is set to be at the forefront of much of the burgeoning ONE Championship’s forthcoming marketing activity and given the bullish promotion’s events are now broadcasted in 118 countries, she has a potential audience of over a billion people for whom martial arts is a cultural cornerstone.
In the fight game, of course, there is a certain cachet that comes with being unbeaten, but what sets this 20-year-old Asian-American apart is her approachable, media-friendly manner outside of the cage. With a relatively untapped endorsement portfolio and an ever-growing social following, she is the epitome of potential. ML