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
Dutch, 19, Motorsport
Formula One’s youngest ever driver, going places fast
Representatives: Raymond Vermeulen
Key partners: Jumbo Supermarkets, Ziggo, Exact
2016 ranking: New entry
Competitive, exciting, dangerous, the future of Formula One: all are charges that have been levelled at the prodigious Max Verstappen.
The son of mid-90s Formula One driver Jos, whose career victories he has already surpassed, made his debut in 2015 for Scuderia Toro Rosso at the age of 17 years and 166 days. Following a strong start to 2016 parent constructor Red Bull promoted the Dutch wunderkind into their top team line-up, where he immediately gained plaudits for his mature albeit feisty driving style.
"I think he's already marked himself out as a superstar of the future. What he has clearly got is an ability to perform under pressure". - Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing team principal.
204 points - including a historic first Grand Prix win in Barcelona - clearly justified team principal Christian Horner’s faith in his young charge. In 2017, Verstappen is driving the third best car on the grid and his hopes of a maiden drivers’ title will have to wait. But a serious challenge is surely ahead, not least if - as is widely held to be the case - he is next in line for a big drive with pacesetters Mercedes or Ferrari.
Regardless of which car the flying Dutchman does drive, he is all set to lead a global sport into a new era under Liberty Media: an owner reengaging traditional markets while exploring new ones, and rethinking its relationships in everything from broadcast to sponsorship. For brands, it could be a potent combination. GD