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
Spanish, 23, Tennis
A steely competitor with a polished persona
Representatives: WME | IMG
Key partners: Adidas, Babolat, BBVA Bank, Maui Jim, Rolex
2016 ranking: 14
Spanish tennis star Garbiñe Muguruza claimed her first Grand Slam title shortly after debuting in this list last year, upsetting the odds to defeat a history-seeking Serena Williams at the French Open in straight sets. Even if she has not made a final since, having that trophy locked away in the cabinet adds another layer of gloss to her already polished persona.
As well as a lucrative bonus from her apparel sponsor, Adidas, Muguruza’s breakthrough victory at Roland Garros garnered high praise and catapulted her into the ranks of the world’s highest-paid female athletes. It also earned the 23-year-old a new partnership with Rolex, underlining her value to brands at a time when women’s tennis is on the lookout for authentic ambassadors with genuinely global appeal.
“Her reach can be universal. The goal is to turn Garbiñe into a global star and she is helping herself with her on-court performance.” - Fernando Soler, head of IMG Tennis.
With the game and the temperament to contend more major championships, the powerful Muguruza has been hailed as a natural successor to the likes of Williams and Maria Sharapova. There are, of course, plenty of others on the ever-mutable WTA circuit vying for that distinction, but few possess the star qualities of this always-smiling yet quietly fearsome competitor. ML