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, 26, Soccer
The Brazilian brand conduit for the Chinese Super League
Representatives: Gortin Promoções Ltda
Key partners: Nike
2015 ranking: New entry
Whatever the spark that lit the Chinese Super League’s (CSL) spending fire in early 2016 – a bumper TV rights deal, private enterprise seeking refuge from a slowing construction boom, direct government instruction – one of the key beneficiaries was Brazilian striker Alex Teixeira. The former Shakhtar Donetsk forward came to be the face of the eastward migration of top soccer talent, thanks at least in part to the fact that his new club, Jiangsu Suning, beat out English giants Liverpool to the player’s signing, representing a major coup for the upstart CSL.
With a raw talent that had long attracted attention from Europe’s top five leagues and, at 26, only just entering his prime years, Teixeira may yet also find himself as the face of the aggressively expansionist CSL, itself intended as the product that will sell Chinese soccer to the world. There will, undoubtedly, be much more still to come from the new generation of Chinese super-clubs but, in Teixeira, the league has an elite-level player from the home of samba and joga bonito who will spend the peak of his career plying his trade there.
For Chinese companies looking to capitalise on the game’s rising popularity in the country and overseas brands looking for an accessible way into a giant market, that in itself will prove a major enticement. AN
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