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
Ellyse Perry - Australian, 22, Soccer/Cricket (New)
Ellyse Perry is the throwback leading emerging sports into a new era. Aged 16, this presentday, pony-tailed Denis Compton became the youngest person to play cricket for Australia in 2007 – a month before a historic debut for the national soccer team. Now 22, she has represented both in their respective World Cups, defying injury to produce a match-winning contribution in the final of the cricketing version in February.
She has so far rebuffed attempts to curtail her daunting schedule, politely telling Canberra United in 2012 that she would seek new employers rather than play less cricket and moving on to Sydney FC. Assuming she recovers in time from ankle surgery her fast bowling will be a feature of an Ashes summer in England which could raise the profile of women’s cricket and confirm Australia’s pre-eminence in all three forms of the game.
On the field, she may stay within the confines of women’s sport – the first woman to play Sydney men’s grade cricket in 117 years in November 2010, Perry has nonetheless spoken carefully about avoiding “token gestures” in breaking the gender divide. Off it, this unique all-rounder has found time for an economics and social sciences degree at the University of Sydney, and roles in radio and television.
That has still left room for sponsors: deals are in place with Adidas and Commonwealth Bank and she has appeared in campaigns for Microsoft. Perry is personable, presentable and at ease in front of a camera, but it is her example that makes her extraordinary. EC