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
New Zealander, 26, Rugby
Rugby union’s player of the year timing his rise to perfection
Representatives: Essentially Group
Key Partners: Adidas, Tudor
2016 Ranking: New entry
Beauden Barrett might have added a World Player of the Year accolade to his Rugby World Cup winner’s medal, but this is still just the beginning for New Zealand’s latest fly-half.
The 26-year-old featured six times in the 2015 edition of rugby union’s major international event - scoring a try in the final - but his emergence was never likely to overshadow teammate Dan Carter cementing his All Blacks legacy.
Until now, coverage of Barrett’s domestic brilliance has struggled to break continental boundaries, but 2016 was the perfect time for him to guide the Wellington Hurricanes to their first-ever Super Rugby title, given that the next three years present a window of opportunity.
“It came down to a gut feeling and purely the desire to wear the All Blacks jersey while being the best XVs player I could be. I had a chance to take this team to another level. It really excited me.” – Beauden Barrett, speaking to The Telegraph.
The Taranaki-born playmaker will be the All Blacks’ figurehead for this summer’s DHL New Zealand Lions Series, but more significant will be the ensuing 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
The tournament is entering unchartered territory with its first appearance in Asia, and its spotlight never falls far from the occupant of New Zealand’s number ten jersey. Entry into a new market will make Barrett an attractive prospect for baying brands, and if he maintains his current level of excellence, he could soon fill a growing sport’s vacancy for a global superstar. SC