Jordan Spieth

50 Most Marketable 2016 - Jordan Spieth
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Jordan Spieth

CRITERIA

Athletes from across the world have been ranked according to their marketing potential over a three-year period from this summer.

  • Value for money
  • Age
  • Home market
  • Charisma
  • Willingness to be marketed
  • Crossover appeal

American, 22, Golf

The gentleman superstar impressing on and off the course

Representatives: Lagardère Sports and Entertainment

Key partners: Under Armour, AT&T, Rolex, Netjets, Titleist

2015 ranking: 3

 

If Jordan Spieth did not exist, it would be necessary for golf to invent him. Indeed, at times, when watching the sport’s golden boy in action on the course and in the press room, it’s hard to believe that he wasn’t conjured up by some executive, so perfectly does he fit the criteria of what both golf itself and the brands that support it desire. That Under Armour tied him down to a ten-year deal in 2015 is testament to his desirability to brands – and especially to a brand like Under Armour, still finding its way in the sport and looking for a safe bet to guide it in.

Still only 22, Spieth appeals to a demographic golf has long clamoured after, yet he himself is enough of a traditionalist – and, perhaps most importantly, enough of a talent – to not risk alienating the game’s core audience. His clean-cut, clean-living ‘Southern gentleman’ persona has proved the perfect antidote to the scandals that plagued the late era of Tiger Woods’ reign over the sport. And even when Spieth fails – as he did at this year’s Masters, when his charge to defend his title collapsed with a final-round quadruple bogey at the 12th hole – he fails in an engaging, watchable manner, remaining magnanimous in defeat.

That Masters falter was the first real hiccup in an otherwise more or less unblemished career. Spieth must now focus on regaining form ahead of golf’s return to the Olympic Games and, after that, a Ryder Cup which promises to be one of the most competitive in years. If that high-stakes double-bill can be taken full advantage of, the future beyond looks bright for the sport and Spieth alike. AN


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