Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka, Emma Raducanu, Rafael Nadal on list of 50 Most Marketable Athletes for 2022

Serena Williams in action

Serena Williams is only behind Cristiano Ronaldo in SportsPro’s latest annual list of the 50 Most Marketable Athletes (50MM) with eight other tennis players also featuring.

Portugal and Manchester United forward Ronaldo tops the list with a Marketability Score of 91.21 out of a possible 100 with his brand strength 11,21 (out of 20), audience reach 50 (out of 50) and economics 30 (out of 30).

According to SportsPro, their ranking methodology – developed in partnership with NorthStar Solutions Group – “was devised to paint the most complete picture of athlete marketability in the sports industry, combining on-field performance and off-field factors such as personal brand development, audience reach and engagement, and social impact”.

The new retired Williams, who won 23 Grand Slams, came in second with a score of 67,99 with the list compiled before she retired while seven-time Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton is third with 64,58.

The rich lists and most-famous lists are often dominated by men, but incredibly four female tennis players are in the top 20 with Rafael Nadal the first men’s player sitting at No 16. Only the Big Three of Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic feature.

Four-time major champion Naomi Osaka is in the top 10 as she comes in at No 6 with a score of 51,62 despite not winning any titles this year. The Japanese star’s last title was at the 2021 Australian Open in 2021.

The 2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu, who has slipped down the WTA Rankings after failing to defend her crown at Flushing Meadows, is at No 12 with two-time major champion Simona Halep at No 15.

20-time Grand Slam winner Federer (23), former world No 1 Garbine Muguruza (30), 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu (32) and 21-time major champion Novak Djokovic (46) also make the list.

“Who is the most marketable athlete on the planet today? We at SportsPro have asked ourselves that very question every year since 2010, and each year the process of answering it provides a fascinating snapshot of the business of athlete marketing,” Michael Long, Editorial Director at SportsPro, said.

“Marketability can be defined in many ways, but what’s clear from our in-depth assessment is that each of the athletes in this year’s diverse list delivers considerable value to their brand partners.

“Not only are they elite, highly visible performers in their respective sports, their individual reach and influence and, in many cases, willingness to speak out on social issues positions them as ideal ambassadors for companies seeking to communicate authentically to consumers.”

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