Barcelona star Lionel Messi has been named the world’s most marketable sportsman in 2020, topping the Nielsen SportsPro 2020 list of the top 50 athletes.
Messi, 33, comes in ahead of Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo, with Neymar, Mohamed Salah and Paolo Dybala the other footballers to make the top 10. American basketball great LeBron James, Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli and Canadian tennis player Bianca Andreescu round out this year’s top five, with the latter named as the top-ranked female athlete.
This year’s 50 Most Marketable (50MM) Athletes list is powered by Nielsen’s proprietary athlete marketability assessment methodology. 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.
Nielsen’s Influencer Selection and Measurement Framework incorporates a range of performance and sponsorship-related KPIs (Key Performance Indicator), such as social following, content engagement, fanbase growth over time, media value, and the performance of branded versus organic content. Under the framework, the Instagram accounts for over 6,000 athletes from 21 sports were tracked over the last 12 months.
The top ten:
1. Lionel Messi – Argentinian, 33, Football
2. Cristiano Ronaldo – Portuguese, 35, Football
3. LeBron James – American, 35, Basketball
4. Virat Kohli – Indian, 31, Cricket
5. Bianca Andreescu – Canadian, 20, Tennis
6. Neymar Jr – Brazilian, 28, Football
7. Khabib Nurmagomedov – Russian, 32, MMA
8. Rohit Sharma – Indian, 33, Cricket
9. Mohamed Salah – Egyptian, 28, Football
10. Paulo Dybala – Argentinian, 26, Football
-With The Daily Star input