Lionel Messi has been named No 1 in SportsPro‘s 2020 list of the World’s 50 Most Marketable Athletes.
The Barcelona superstar and six-time Ballon d’Or winner claimed the top spot ahead of Juventus striker Cristiano Ronaldo who was placed in second spot.
American basketball star LeBron James, Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli, and Canadian tennis player Bianca Andreescu completed this year’s top five, with Bianca named as the top-ranked female athlete.
According to SportsPro, this year’s 50 Most Marketable (50MM) Athletes list is powered by Nielsen’s proprietary athlete marketability assessment methodology.
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 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.