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, 22, Golf
A needle-mover for women’s golf
Representatives: Blue Giraffe Sports Management
Key partners: Cobra Puma Golf, Red Bull, Rolex, EA Sports, Zurich Insurance
2016 ranking: 17
Many doubted Lexi Thompson’s powers of recovery when she suffered the injustice of a controversial four-stroke penalty at this year’s ANA Inspiration, a ruling that cruelly thwarted her quest for a second major and prompted golf’s governing bodies to quickly modify their rules concerning video replays and viewer referrals. Yet the world number four took that disappointment in her stride, rebounding in swift and unerring fashion to claim a record-breaking victory at May’s Kingsmill Championship.
If that impressive response demonstrated Thompson’s character, it also underlined why many have long viewed her as the future of women’s golf. Seemingly unencumbered by the pressure that comes with being the leading American on the LPGA Tour, Thompson stands proud as the star-spangled island in an ocean of Asian talent.
“I believe she has passed Michelle Wie as the poster child for the LPGA Tour and the number one needle-mover in women’s golf.” - Golf Channel commentator Jerry Foltz.
Away from the course, Thompson’s trajectory remains unremittingly upwards, and the tantalising prospect of combined men’s and women’s tournaments provides a clear opportunity to enhance her profile further. A regular visitor to the PGA Tour’s Zurich Classic, where each year she takes part in sponsor-driven media events alongside her male counterparts, this blossoming star possesses a crossover appeal unmatched by any of her LPGA peers. ML