BRAND VALUE: Kohli beats Neymar Jr in most marketable athletes’ list

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have respectively been named the world’s two topmost marketable athletes. No surprises in that. What can take the sports world by surprise is the fact that Virat Kohli figures in the No. 4 position ahead of Brazilian football star Neymar Jr, who is in the No. 6 position behind Canadian tennis icon Bianca Andreescu.

The World’s 50 Most Marketable Athletes list, powered by Nielsen’s Athlete Marketability Assessment Methodology, also has Rohit Sharma among the top ten, in the No. 8 position to be precise.

Yet another shocker, tennis legend Roger Federer gets the 35th billing. Rafael Nadal in the 28th position.

TOP 50 MOST MARKETABLE ATHLETES

  1. Lionel Mess – Soccer, Argentina (Athlete Influencer Score 115 pts); 2. Cristiano Ronaldo – Soccer, Portugal (113); LeBron James – Basketball, USA (110); 4. VIRAT KOHLI – CRICKET, INDIA (109); 5. Bianca Andreescu – Tennis, Canada (107); 6. Neyam Jr – Soccer, Brazil (107); 7. Kabib Nurmagomedo – MMA, Russia (106); 8. ROHIT SHARMA – CRICKET, INDIA (103); 9. Mohamed Salah – Soccer, Egypt (103); 10. Paulo Dybala – Soccer, Argentina (100); 11. Eden Hazard – Soccer, Belgium (99); 12. Ryan Garcia – Boxing, Argentina (97); 13. Stephen Curry – Basketball, USA (96); 14. Simone Byles – Gymnastics, USA (95); 15. Kylian Mbappe – Soccer, France (93); 16. Erling Haaland – Soccer, Norway (92); 17. Alex Morgan – Soccer, USA (92); 18. Coco Gauff – Tennis, USA (92); 19. Paul Pogba – Soccer, France (90); 20. Robert Lewandowski – Soccer, Poland (87); 21. Lewis Hamilton – MotorSport, Britain (87); 22. Dina Asher-Smith – Athletics, Britain (86); 23. Virjil van Dijk – Football, The Netherlands (84); 24. Jorge Masvidal – MMA, USA (84); 25. Megan Rapinoe – Soccer, USA (83); 26. Patrick Mahomes – Football, USA (82); 27. Sky Brown – Skateboarding, Britain (81); 28. Rafael Nadal – Tennis, Spain (79); 29. Anna Gasser – Snowboarding, USA (77); 30. Tom Brady – Football, USA (76); 31. Anthony Joshua – Boxing, Britain (76); 32. Tyson Fury – Boxing, Britain (75); 33. Naomi Osaka – Tennis, Japan (75); 34. Son Heung-min – Soccer, Korea (74); 35. Roger Federer – Tennis, Switzerland (72); 36. Luca Doncic – Basketball, Slovenia (72); 37. Charles Leclerc – MotorSport, Monaco (72); 38. Kelia Termini – Surfing, USA (72); 39. Dele Alli – Soccer, Britain (71); 40. Bethany Hamilton – Surfing, USA (71); 41. Carissa Moore – Surfing, USA (71); 42. Anthony Davis – Basketball, USA (71); 43. Zion Williamson – Basketball, USA (70); 44. Giannis Antetokounmpo – Basketball, Greece (69); 45. Kartin Daviosdottir – Crossfit, Iceland (69); 46. Katelyn Ohashi – Gymnastic, USA (69); 47. Dorothea Wierer – Biathlon, Italy (69); 48. Ashleigh Barty – Tennis/Cricket, Australia (69); 49. Mikaela Shiffrin – Skiing, USA (68); and 50. Russell Westbrook – Basketball, USA (68).

The rating points are drawn by the system called the Influencer Selection and Measurement Framework. The methodology draws on vast amounts of social media data to generate an Athlete Influencer Score comprising four key data points: relevance, reach, return, and resonance.

Designed to accurately monitor social campaign effectiveness, the framework incorporates a range of performance and sponsorship-related KPIs, such as the social following, content engagement, fanbase growth over time, media value, and the performance of branded versus organic content. For this list, the Instagram accounts for over 6,000 athletes from 21 sports were tracked over the last 12 months.

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