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
American, 21, Golf
The prodigious talent coming of age
Representatives: Blue Giraffe Sports Management
Key partners: Cobra Puma Golf, Red Bull, Rolex, EA Sports, Zurich Insurance
2015 ranking: 15
For years she was the child prodigy with a bagful of talent; now, Lexi Thompson is the real deal. Last year the big-hitting Floridian recorded two LPGA tournament wins and went close at three majors, missing the cut just once on her way to pocketing prize money approaching US$2 million.
Now ranked three in the world, Thompson is America’s top female golfer, a distinction that has elicited inevitable comparisons with her former US Junior Ryder Cup teammate Jordan Spieth. The pair have been making appearances together as they settle into their newfound superstardom, and there could plenty more to come. A recent media and marketing alliance between the PGA Tour and LPGA has the potential to drastically enhance the profile of female stars like Thompson, a player who has already dabbled in sponsor-driven promotional activities with her male counterparts and would be a logical candidate to front any combined events the two US circuits go on to co-organise.
Should that happen, Thompson would find herself at the sharp end of a game-changing convergence, positioned as the face of a sport finally making meaningful strides towards bridging its archaic gender divide. ML
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