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
Cristiano Ronaldo - Portuguese, 28, Soccer (5)
Speculation lingers that Cristiano Ronaldo, unsettled after an occasionally fractious season in the Spanish capital, might be eyeing a move away from Real Madrid, with his old club Manchester United tipped as one potential suitor. Should it happen it would probably be a revitalising career move for the brilliant Portuguese string-puller.
One of the most famous sportsmen on the planet over the past decade, ‘CR7’ is admired but not universally loved – much to his irritation. His great rival Lionel Messi, the man he has so often found himself compared to and in the shadow of, has managed to melt away the tribal tendencies of soccer fans, a trick Ronaldo has not managed to pull off in a sparkling career to date. Nonetheless, Ronaldo’s talent, allied to his sex symbol status, continues to make him a magnet for brands: Nike has him front and centre of its talent roster, although it is understandably frustrated that he plays for an Adidas-backed team, and he remains the face of Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer.
Those are but two of a plethora of current deals, to which he added a gig as the face of Jacob & Co watches in April. Ronaldo’s huge appeal will be a factor in any move to a new club for as long as this perennial Ballon D’Or contender keeps delivering on the pitch. Next year’s World Cup might offer him a final crack at knocking Messi off his perch as the undisputed world number one in the world’s number one sport. DC