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
Slovakian, 26, Cycling
Cycling’s road world champion and serial stage-winner
Representatives: Giovanni Lombardi
Key partners: Citroen, Slovak Telekom, Grand Hotel River Park
2015 ranking: New entry
The eccentric Peter Sagan is one of the most prolific classic winners on cycling’s UCI World Tour and the Slovakian, 26, has won the Tour de France’s maillot vert four years in a row since his debut in 2012. He signed a three-year contract with the Tinkoff-Saxo cycling team in 2015, which was believed to earn him something in the region of €5 million a year.
Tinkoff-Saxo’s team owner, Oleg Tinkov, recently told Cyclingnews that he is “likely to fold the team down at the end of the season” if he fails to find a new sponsor or a new funding partner. This could create a serious bidding war for Sagan’s services from multiple elite rivals, something which, coupled with a potential Olympic medal, could make him a more internationally renowned figure.
Aside from being cycling’s most popular rider, Sagan hit the front pages back home when he married Katarina Smolkova in a traditional Slovakian service in late 2015. He was able to put his trademark unconventional spin on the occasion by including a chainsaw and copious amounts of smoke, releasing doves, wearing a top hat and a long fur-lined leather coat, and riding a penny-farthing on a tightrope. GD
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