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
Canadian, 26, Tennis
Tennis’ nearly man at a career-defining crossroads
Representatives: CAA Sports
Key partners: New Balance, Aviva, Rolex, Wilson, Rogers, Canada Goose
2016 ranking: New entry
For a sponsor seeking a pitchman outside of the elite five in men’s tennis, Milos Raonic can lay claim to being first in line. Currently ranked seventh in the world, but having reached a career high of three late last year, the big-serving Ontario native has been a constant fixture within the upper echelons of the sport ever since breaking into the world top ten in 2013.
A familiar presence in the latter rounds of major tournaments, Raonic has broken new ground for Canadian tennis, claiming eight wins on the ATP World Tour to date and making 13 finals, including his first appearance in a Grand Slam showpiece at last year’s Wimbledon Championships. Whether he can now kick on to claim the top honours remains to be seen, but if anyone has the power to topple tennis’ evergreen giants on the sport’s biggest stages it is Raonic.
“My biggest phobia at this point in my life is the possibility that someday I’ll look back and feel like I didn’t realise my full potential as a player. That I didn’t get to number one. That I didn’t win the multiple Slams.” - Milos Raonic, ‘Letter to My Future Self’, published on The Players' Tribune in February 2017.
Having signed him in 2013, New Balance saw enough two years later to tie Raonic down for the rest of his career, a deal that will see the 26-year-old remain the brand’s lead tennis endorser for many years to come. Other sponsors have followed suit, drawn by a likeable character whose philanthropic efforts have garnered rightful praise and offer an obvious hook for collaboration. ML