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
American, 18, Soccer
US soccer’s latest greatest hope
Representatives: Mark Pulisic
Key partners: Nike, Panini
2016 ranking: New entry
In April 2017, the official website of US Soccer published an article entitled ‘All the Things Christian Pulisic Did Faster Than Anyone’. His achievements, by the age of just 18, are too many to list here, but the headlines include his being the youngest ever goalscorer for the US men’s national team, the youngest non-German to score in the Bundesliga, and the youngest American to score in the Uefa Champions League.
Americans have pinned their hopes on several young talents who were expected to burst on to the world stage and make the US a global force in the game - Freddy Adu, anyone? - but never before has a player backed up the hype so emphatically, at such a young age. Nor, importantly, have they done so on such a platform: his side, Borussia Dortmund, are a genuine European soccer giant.
“He’s very self-confident, Christian. You can see it in training, and the way he plays. He’s not nervous, he's very ambitious. He started in many important games. And he deserved it.” – Thomas Tuchel, former Borussia Dortmund manager.
Pulisic is set to take his place in a young line-up who hope to launch an assault on both the Bundesliga and Champions League in the near future, while he is already a talisman for the USMNT. Maybe, just maybe, the US is finally looking at its first true soccer icon. AN