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Stephen Curry named the world’s most marketable athlete in 2016

NBA superstar Stephen Curry, 28, ranked the most marketable athlete in the world by SportsPro magazine.

25 May 2016 Tom Lloyd

National Basketball Association (NBA) superstar Stephen Curry, 28, has been ranked as the most marketable athlete in the world by SportsPro magazine.

The Golden State Warriors point guard, who recently became the league’s first ever unanimous MVP after a stunning season, heads the seventh annual SportsPro 50 Most Marketable Athletes list (#SP50MM). He is the second American and the second basketball player to do so.

The full list, featuring full commercial profiles of each athlete, is published today here. The June edition of SportsPro magazine, out next week, delves deeper into the process of piecing together an athlete marketing campaign.

Juventus soccer player Paul Pogba, preparing for Uefa Euro 2016 as the brightest hope of host nation France, was ranked second, while Indian cricketer Virat Kohli returns to the top three amid the richest vein of form of his career. World number one golfer Lydia Ko is the highest-ranked woman at number seven. Ireland’s colourful UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor was the highest new entry at 11 on the list, which focuses on marketing potential over the next three years.Athletes across the world were ranked against criteria including age, home market, charisma, willingness to be marketed and crossover appeal, following several weeks of analysis by the SportsPro team and external industry experts.

Curry replaces WTA tennis player Eugenie Bouchard, who drops to number 39 after a difficult season in 2015. Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton topped the rankings in 2014; Barcelona’s Brazilian soccer star Neymar, in at eight this year, took the number one spot in 2012 and 2013; Olympic champion Usain Bolt headed the list in 2011, while NBA star LeBron James was named as the world’s most marketable athlete in the feature’s inaugural year in 2010.

SportsPro editor Eoin Connolly said: “There was no other serious contender this year for the NBA’s MVP award and, to be honest, there were no other serious contenders at the top of this list. What Stephen Curry has achieved in the last two years has been phenomenal: not only has he enjoyed a spell of form that has people talking about him as one of the league’s all-time greats, he’s led a team that has set records playing basketball in a way that’s just so different and unexpected. It’s been thrilling to watch and, however the play-offs turn out, it’s something that’ll be remembered for years to come.

“By the standards of some past heroes in the NBA, Curry’s career has been a slow-burner but he is only now approaching his peak at 28. He also comes across as a likeable, grounded individual whose love for playing the game is infectious. That gives him immediate popular appeal, and sponsors like Under Armour have already seen the benefits of working with him. Given the NBA’s lengthy history in creating truly global sporting superstars, you imagine there is plenty more to come from him.”

Michael Long, the Americas editor at SportsPro, added: “Our yearly rankings have always sought to highlight the athletes whose personal exploits ensure sport remains a compelling proposition for brand marketers. Of the 50 exceptional sportsmen and women to feature on the list in 2016, none have captured the imagination over the past 12 months quite like Stephen Curry.

“Not only has this year’s number one become a standout star in the most internationalised of North America’s major leagues, Curry is now among the most exciting, revered and talked-about individuals in world sport. This year – perhaps more so than in any of the previous six – top spot was never in doubt.”

Two other NBA players made the list, with Houston Rockets’ James Harden returning for his fourth appearance, and rookie of the year Karl-Anthony Towns a new entry at 28.

This year’s list includes 15 women, up from 12 in 2015. With major tournaments around the world this summer and the Fifa World Cup looming in 2018, soccer is the best represented sport on the list with eight entrants. Winter sports are also making an impression ahead of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games, with ski jumper Sara Takanashi and speed skater Lee Sang-Hwa among the new entries, and Sochi 2014 slalom champion Mikaela Shiffrin breaking into the top ten for the first time.

McGregor, who has achieved international notoriety and box office appeal despite a welterweight defeat to Nate Diaz in April, heads 19 new entries. Newcomers include a fighter from another MMA promotion, One Championship’s new teenaged champion Angela Lee, as well as rising Tottenham Hotspur and England soccer prospect Dele Alli, the divisive yet talented Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios, US swimming sensation Katie Ledecky and Spain’s world tennis number four Garbiñe Muguruza. IBF world heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua is the highest riser at number five.

There are 17 American athletes on the list, with five from the UK and three each from Brazil and Canada. 21 nationalities are represented, with Gabon and Slovakia among those with entrants for the first time.

SportsPro: The World’s 50 Most Marketable Athletes 2016 – the top ten

  1. Stephen Curry – Basketball, USA
  2. Paul Pogba – Soccer, France
  3. Virat Kohli – Cricket, India
  4. Jordan Spieth – Golf, USA
  5. Anthony Joshua – Boxing, UK
  6. Kei Nishikori – Tennis, Japan
  7. Lydia Ko – Golf, New Zealand
  8. Neymar – Soccer, Brazil
  9. Missy Franklin – Swimming, USA
  10. Mikaela Shiffrin – Skiing, USA

The full list of the World’s 50 Most Marketable Athletes, with comprehensive commercial analysis of each and every athlete, detailing their inclusion on this year’s list and explaining their ranking, is available online now here.

The June edition of SportsPro magazine features additional coverage. To subscribe, please visit here.

  • NBA superstar succeeds Canadian tennis player Eugenie Bouchard
  • French footballer Paul Pogba of Juventus second; Indian cricket hero Virat Kohli third
  • MMA champion Conor McGregor is highest new entry at 11

 

National Basketball Association (NBA) superstar Stephen Curry, 28, has been ranked as the most marketable athlete in the world by SportsPro magazine.

The Golden State Warriors point guard, who recently became the league’s first ever unanimous MVP after a stunning season, heads the seventh annual SportsPro 50 Most Marketable Athletes list (#SP50MM). He is the second American and the second basketball player to do so.

The full list, featuring full commercial profiles of each athlete, is published today here. The June edition of SportsPro magazine, out next week, delves deeper into the process of piecing together an athlete marketing campaign.

Juventus soccer player Paul Pogba, preparing for Uefa Euro 2016 as the brightest hope of host nation France, was ranked second, while Indian cricketer Virat Kohli returns to the top three amid the richest vein of form of his career. World number one golfer Lydia Ko is the highest-ranked woman at number seven. Ireland’s colourful UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor was the highest new entry at 11 on the list, which focuses on marketing potential over the next three years.

Athletes across the world were ranked against criteria including age, home market, charisma, willingness to be marketed and crossover appeal, following several weeks of analysis by the SportsPro team and external industry experts.

Curry replaces WTA tennis player Eugenie Bouchard, who drops to number 39 after a difficult season in 2015. Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton topped the rankings in 2014; Barcelona’s Brazilian soccer star Neymar, in at eight this year, took the number one spot in 2012 and 2013; Olympic champion Usain Bolt headed the list in 2011, while NBA star LeBron James was named as the world’s most marketable athlete in the feature’s inaugural year in 2010.

SportsPro editor Eoin Connolly said: “There was no other serious contender this year for the NBA’s MVP award and, to be honest, there were no other serious contenders at the top of this list. What Stephen Curry has achieved in the last two years has been phenomenal: not only has he enjoyed a spell of form that has people talking about him as one of the league’s all-time greats, he’s led a team that has set records playing basketball in a way that’s just so different and unexpected. It’s been thrilling to watch and, however the play-offs turn out, it’s something that’ll be remembered for years to come.

“By the standards of some past heroes in the NBA, Curry’s career has been a slow-burner but he is only now approaching his peak at 28. He also comes across as a likeable, grounded individual whose love for playing the game is infectious. That gives him immediate popular appeal, and sponsors like Under Armour have already seen the benefits of working with him. Given the NBA’s lengthy history in creating truly global sporting superstars, you imagine there is plenty more to come from him.”

Michael Long, the Americas editor at SportsPro, added: “Our yearly rankings have always sought to highlight the athletes whose personal exploits ensure sport remains a compelling proposition for brand marketers. Of the 50 exceptional sportsmen and women to feature on the list in 2016, none have captured the imagination over the past 12 months quite like Stephen Curry.

“Not only has this year’s number one become a standout star in the most internationalised of North America’s major leagues, Curry is now among the most exciting, revered and talked-about individuals in world sport. This year – perhaps more so than in any of the previous six – top spot was never in doubt.”

Two other NBA players made the list, with Houston Rockets’ James Harden returning for his fourth appearance, and rookie of the year Karl-Anthony Towns a new entry at 28.

This year’s list includes 15 women, up from 12 in 2015. With major tournaments around the world this summer and the Fifa World Cup looming in 2018, soccer is the best represented sport on the list with eight entrants. Winter sports are also making an impression ahead of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games, with ski jumper Sara Takanashi and speed skater Lee Sang-Hwa among the new entries, and Sochi 2014 slalom champion Mikaela Shiffrin breaking into the top ten for the first time.

McGregor, who has achieved international notoriety and box office appeal despite a welterweight defeat to Nate Diaz in April, heads 19 new entries. Newcomers include a fighter from another MMA promotion, One Championship’s new teenaged champion Angela Lee, as well as rising Tottenham Hotspur and England soccer prospect Dele Alli, the divisive yet talented Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios, US swimming sensation Katie Ledecky and Spain’s world tennis number four Garbiñe Muguruza. IBF world heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua is the highest riser at number five.

There are 17 American athletes on the list, with five from the UK and three each from Brazil and Canada. 21 nationalities are represented, with Gabon and Slovakia among those with entrants for the first time.

SportsPro: The World’s 50 Most Marketable Athletes 2016 – the top ten

  1. Stephen Curry – Basketball, USA
  2. Paul Pogba – Soccer, France
  3. Virat Kohli – Cricket, India
  4. Jordan Spieth – Golf, USA
  5. Anthony Joshua – Boxing, UK
  6. Kei Nishikori – Tennis, Japan
  7. Lydia Ko – Golf, New Zealand
  8. Neymar – Soccer, Brazil
  9. Missy Franklin – Swimming, USA
  10. Mikaela Shiffrin – Skiing, USA

The full list of the World’s 50 Most Marketable Athletes, with comprehensive commercial analysis of each and every athlete, detailing their inclusion on this year’s list and explaining their ranking, is available online now here.

The June edition of SportsPro magazine features additional coverage. To subscribe, please visit here.

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Stephen Curry named the World’s Most Marketable Athlete in 2016

National Basketball Association (NBA) superstar Stephen Curry, 28, has been ranked as the most marketable athlete in the world by SportsPro magazine.

Tom Lloyd
  • NBA superstar succeeds Canadian tennis player Eugenie Bouchard
  • French footballer Paul Pogba of Juventus second; Indian cricket hero Virat Kohli third
  • MMA champion Conor McGregor is highest new entry at 11

National Basketball Association (NBA) superstar Stephen Curry, 28, has been ranked as the most marketable athlete in the world by SportsPro magazine.

The Golden State Warriors point guard, who recently became the league’s first ever unanimous MVP after a stunning season, heads the seventh annual SportsPro 50 Most Marketable Athletes list (#SP50MM). He is the second American and the second basketball player to do so.

The full list, featuring full commercial profiles of each athlete, is published today at www.sportspromedia.com. The June edition of SportsPro magazine, out next week, delves deeper into the process of piecing together an athlete marketing campaign.

Juventus soccer player Paul Pogba, preparing for Uefa Euro 2016 as the brightest hope of host nation France, was ranked second, while Indian cricketer Virat Kohli returns to the top three amid the richest vein of form of his career. World number one golfer Lydia Ko is the highest-ranked woman at number seven. Ireland’s colourful UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor was the highest new entry at 11 on the list, which focuses on marketing potential over the next three years.

Athletes across the world were ranked against criteria including age, home market, charisma, willingness to be marketed and crossover appeal, following several weeks of analysis by the SportsPro team and external industry experts.

Curry replaces WTA tennis player Eugenie Bouchard, who drops to number 39 after a difficult season in 2015. Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton topped the rankings in 2014; Barcelona’s Brazilian soccer star Neymar, in at eight this year, took the number one spot in 2012 and 2013; Olympic champion Usain Bolt headed the list in 2011, while NBA star LeBron James was named as the world’s most marketable athlete in the feature’s inaugural year in 2010.

SportsPro editor Eoin Connolly said: “There was no other serious contender this year for the NBA’s MVP award and, to be honest, there were no other serious contenders at the top of this list. What Stephen Curry has achieved in the last two years has been phenomenal: not only has he enjoyed a spell of form that has people talking about him as one of the league’s all-time greats, he’s led a team that has set records playing basketball in a way that’s just so different and unexpected. It’s been thrilling to watch and, however the play-offs turn out, it’s something that’ll be remembered for years to come.

“By the standards of some past heroes in the NBA, Curry’s career has been a slow-burner but he is only now approaching his peak at 28. He also comes across as a likeable, grounded individual whose love for playing the game is infectious. That gives him immediate popular appeal, and sponsors like Under Armour have already seen the benefits of working with him. Given the NBA’s lengthy history in creating truly global sporting superstars, you imagine there is plenty more to come from him.”

Michael Long, the Americas editor at SportsPro, added: “Our yearly rankings have always sought to highlight the athletes whose personal exploits ensure sport remains a compelling proposition for brand marketers. Of the 50 exceptional sportsmen and women to feature on the list in 2016, none have captured the imagination over the past 12 months quite like Stephen Curry.

“Not only has this year’s number one become a standout star in the most internationalised of North America’s major leagues, Curry is now among the most exciting, revered and talked-about individuals in world sport. This year – perhaps more so than in any of the previous six – top spot was never in doubt.”

Two other NBA players made the list, with Houston Rockets’ James Harden returning for his fourth appearance, and rookie of the year Karl-Anthony Towns a new entry at 28.

This year’s list includes 15 women, up from 12 in 2015. With major tournaments around the world this summer and the Fifa World Cup looming in 2018, soccer is the best represented sport on the list with eight entrants. Winter sports are also making an impression ahead of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games, with ski jumper Sara Takanashi and speed skater Lee Sang-Hwa among the new entries, and Sochi 2014 slalom champion Mikaela Shiffrin breaking into the top ten for the first time.

McGregor, who has achieved international notoriety and box office appeal despite a welterweight defeat to Nate Diaz in April, heads 19 new entries. Newcomers include a fighter from another MMA promotion, One Championship’s new teenaged champion Angela Lee, as well as rising Tottenham Hotspur and England soccer prospect Dele Alli, the divisive yet talented Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios, US swimming sensation Katie Ledecky and Spain’s world tennis number four Garbiñe Muguruza. IBF world heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua is the highest riser at number five.

There are 17 American athletes on the list, with five from the UK and three each from Brazil and Canada. 21 nationalities are represented, with Gabon and Slovakia among those with entrants for the first time.

SportsPro: The World’s 50 Most Marketable Athletes 2016 – the top ten

  1. Stephen Curry – Basketball, USA
  2. Paul Pogba – Soccer, France
  3. Virat Kohli – Cricket, India
  4. Jordan Spieth – Golf, USA
  5. Anthony Joshua – Boxing, UK
  6. Kei Nishikori – Tennis, Japan
  7. Lydia Ko – Golf, New Zealand
  8. Neymar – Soccer, Brazil
  9. Missy Franklin – Swimming, USA
  10. Mikaela Shiffrin – Skiing, USA

The full list of the World’s 50 Most Marketable Athletes, with comprehensive commercial analysis of each and every athlete, detailing their inclusion on this year’s list and explaining their ranking, is available online now at www.sportspromedia.com.

The June edition of SportsPro magazine features additional coverage. To subscribe, please visit www.sportspromedia.com/shop

Notes to editors:

Formed in 2008 in London, SportsPro is the leading sports business media company in print, digital and events, and also runs a regular podcast. SportsPro magazine is a monthly publication dedicated to in-depth analysis, interviews, features and comment from the global sports industry, and sportspromedia.com is the industry-leading online resource for sponsorship, broadcast, personal endorsement and agency deals. The SportsPro app is available now and compatible with both Apple and Android. SportsPro organises several annual sports industry conferences, including SportsPro Live, and The Brand Conference.

For more information, please visit www.sportspromedia.com. Follow SportsPro on Twitter: @SportsPro and use #SP50MM.

For more information, please contact:

Eoin Connolly
Editor
SportsPro
Tel: +44 (0)207 549 3253
Email: editor@sportspromedia.com

Michael Long
Editor – Americas
SportsPro
Tel: +1 250 884 1430
Email: editor@sportspromedia.com