Brazilian footballer Neymar, who currently plays for Santos, has been voted as sport's most marketable athlete, according to SportsPro magazine.

The footballer tops the list ahead of the likes of footballer Lionel Messi, sprinter Usain Bolt and golfer Rory McIlroy.

SportsPro published the top 50 sport-stars based on their marketability - and the way they do that is by judging them on the following criteria: value for money, age, home market, charisma, willingness to be marketed and crossover appeal.

It is now the second year in a row that Neymar has topped the list and the chief editor of the magazine, David Cushnan, has revealed the reasons why Neymar tops the list.

"Essentially the crux of it is we are trying to predict marketing value over the next three years. We're trying to forecast who is going to be worth investing from a sponsorship point of view but also who perhaps offers real value for money.

"Our feeling is that Neymar has the World Cup coming up next year, where he's going to be the star at home, he's a megastar in Brazil.

"He still has this big move to come, probably to Barcelona, that will launch him to whole new level of fame. And there is no doubt that Messi is the more talented player but you can make the argument he is not particularly charismatic off the pitch, not animated or confident in front of the camera.

"You can't ignore him but when it comes to marketing our conclusion was Neymar. From a marketability and brand appeal point of view, if you're picking someone for three years he's the guy."

The SportsPro magazine work out the rankings by using global sources and then five sport-business experts put together the list and then finalise it after weighing up all the categories previously mentioned.

Below you can see who makes the top 10:

1. Neymar | Football | Brazil
2. Lionel Messi | Football | Argentina
3. Rory McIlroy | Golf | UK
4. Robert Griffin III | American football | USA
5. Usain Bolt | Athletics | Jamaica
6. Novak Djokovic | Tennis | Serbia
7. Lewis Hamilton | Formula One | UK
8. Cristiano Ronaldo | Football | Portugal
9. Sloane Stephens | Tennis | USA
10. Blake Griffin | Basketball | USA

 

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