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, 32, Skiing
US ski queen battling back to regal send-off
Representatives: WME | IMG
Key partners: Under Armour, Head, Oakley, Vail Resorts, Briko, Leki, Reusch, GoPro, Red Bull, Rolex
2016 ranking: Re-entry
Before a succession of injuries Lindsey Vonn was untouchable on the slopes, and as the most successful female skier of all time nears the end of her run she is intent on getting back to her best.
Speeding down mountains at speeds of over 80mph is precarious at the best of times, as Vonn knows only too well, but the Minnesotan has found occasion for safer pursuits. When the then Laureus Sportswoman of the Year injured her knee ahead of the 2014 Olympics, she was NBC News’ obvious choice to cover the Games.
Four years on Vonn - with her 1000-watt smile - is still the most recognisable winter sports athlete in the USA and will carry the hopes of a nation down the slopes at the 2018 Games in PyeongChang. In Europe, meanwhile, incoming Olympic broadcaster Eurosport has built its supporting winter sports coverage around Vonn through its Chasing History documentary series.
“She is really good at the spotlight. She knows how to put on a show. I don’t even think she is trying to, she is just skiing fast and doing her thing and everybody wants to see that.” - Mikaela Shiffrin, US teammate and Olympic slalom champion.
Already well-known on the celebrity circuit - Vonn previously dated golfer Tiger Woods – and a prolific social media user, Vonn will find life in her second career a breeze, especially with WME | IMG continuing to lead her way. Nevertheless, the American will want a second Olympic gold medal to confirm her status as a US national treasure.
After all, as her calls for a ‘Battle of the Sexes’ downhill challenge will attest, the 32-year-old relishes a challenge above all else. GD