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
Brazilian, 22, Surfing
Brazil’s history-maker riding the crest of a wave
Representatives: Cesar Villares, Go4it
Key partners: Rip Curl, Guaraná Antarctica, Oi, Oakley, Samsung, Mitsubishi Motors
2015 ranking: 29
Gabriel Medina will always be the first. His compatriot, Adriano de Souza, claimed Brazil’s second world title in as many years last December, but it is the breakthrough champion of 2014 who remains at the forefront of the so-called ‘Brazilian storm’ surging through the pro surfing world. Medina, appearing in this list for a third time, showed he is no flash in the pan by rebounding from a faltering start to finish third overall in 2015, a year in which his exposure back home rivalled that of his good friend and marketing buddy Neymar.
Medina’s management at the newly formed Go4it agency recently landed a contract to procure sponsorship for the World Surf League (WSL) in Brazil. With the global tour and its South American pin-up now being pitched to major multinationals by the same representatives, the potential for promotional tie-ins is obvious. Add to that a phenomenally successful annual WSL event in Rio and surfing’s impending Olympic debut, and it is clear Medina remains a valuable asset for companies looking to tap into the sport’s attractive demographic and aspirant lifestyle. ML
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