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
Indian, 29, Tennis
India’s tennis heroine revelling in doubles return
Representatives: Global Sporting Connections Key partners: GVK, Adidas, Sahara India, Atlas Cycles, Tata Tea, Yonex
2015 ranking: New entry
Sania Mirza is renowned for being part of double acts. Firstly as part of a successful mixed pairing with countryman Mahesh Bhupathi and now in an all-conquering women’s team, alongside Martina Hingis. The preeminent Swiss-Indian duo is the dominant force in women’s doubles – they are the holders of the Wimbledon, US Open and Australian Open titles.
Their success has brought both back into the spotlight, but Mirza in particular. Her earlier successes – along with her marriage to former Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Malik, which brought some less savoury reaction in its wake from some quarters – had already made her a mainstream star in the subcontinent, and she was the national flagbearer for the 2012 Olympics.
Now, India’s huge population is happily revelling in her renaissance.
Mirza has achieved a number of firsts in Indian tennis, surpassing US$1 million in career earnings – her total now stands at over US$5 million – and winning six major titles, three each in women's and mixed doubles. She remains one of India’s most recognisable sportspeople, an icon of equality whose role as a goodwill ambassador for UN Women speaks volumes of her cross-border influence. GD
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