Simone Biles, Naomi Osaka, Cristiano Ronaldo: Ranking the most marketable athletes

Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka topped SportsPro's list of the most marketable athletes in the world

American gymnast Simone Biles, Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka and Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo have been named among the top ten most marketable athletes in the world.

Media company SportsPro, in partnership with digital media monetisation company Greenfly and digital measurement platform Zoomph, have listed the 50 most marketable athletes around.

According to Zoomph's director of strategic initiatives and business intelligence Scott Lewis, the list is not only based on the frequency, reach and engagement of social media posts from the athletes, but also the demographic makeup and consumer affinities of their audience.

Zoomph analysed more than 7,000 athletes active in 2021 on at least three of the four major social platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok – between January and July 2021.

Remarkably, female athletes take up the top three spots, five of the top 10, and 38 percent of the top 50.

Without further ado, here are the top 10 most marketable athletes, according to SportsPro.

10) Alex Morgan

US footballer Alex Morgan makes the top 10 with an influencer score of 171. The forward currently plays for NWSL side Orlando Pride, having enjoyed a short stint at English club Tottenham Hotspur last year.

The 32-year-old has enjoyed a highly-successful career so far, winning the Women’s Champions League with Lyon in 2017. She also has two World Cup titles and an Olympic gold medal to her name.

Alex Morgan is number 10 in SportsPro's list of the most marketable athletes in the world

9) Novak Djokovic

Tennis star Novak Djokovic comes in at ninth after scoring 172. The Serbian is considered a controversial character, but is one of the best tennis players the world has ever seen.

He has earned 20 Grand Slam titles during an illustrious career, which looks set to continue for some time. The 34-year-old is also currently ranked as world number one.

Novak Djokovic is number nine in SportsPro's list of the most marketable athletes in the world

8) Stefanos Tsitsipas

With an influencer score of 173, Stefanos Tsitsipas makes the top 10 just ahead of fellow tennis player Djokovic. The Greek star is only at the start of his career, but has already risen to number three in the world rankings.

At 23-years-old, Tsitsipas is yet to win a Grand Slam, but reached the Australian Open semi-final and French Open final this year.

Stefanos Tsitsipas is number eight in SportsPro's list of the most marketable athletes in the world

7) Ali Krieger

Morgan’s Orlando Pride teammate Ali Krieger comes in at number seven with a score of 174. The 37-year-old has earned two World Cup titles with the US.

Krieger is also a prominent member of the LGBTQ+ community and is married to goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris. The couple adopted a baby daughter in February.

Ali Krieger is number seven in SportsPro's list of the most marketable athletes in the world

6) Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo, considered one of the greatest football players of all time, is at number six with 174. The Portuguese forward currently plays for Juventus, but has won nearly every title available during his career.

This includes seven league titles, five Champions Leagues, one UEFA European Championship, and one UEFA Nations League. The 36-year-old has also received the Ballon d'Or award five times.

Interestingly, Ronaldo’s rival Lionel Messi placed 12th in SportsPro’s list of the most marketable athletes in the world.

Cristiano Ronaldo is number six in SportsPro's list of the most marketable athletes in the world

5) Paulo Dybala

Ronaldo is joined on SportsPro’s list by Juventus teammate Paulo Dybala, who achieved an influencer score of 176.

Argentina’s Dybala joined Juventus in 2015, and has since won Serie A five times. The 27-year-old has also been named in the league’s team of the season four times.

Paulo Dybala is number five in SportsPro's list of the most marketable athletes in the world

4) Canelo Álvarez

With an influencer score of 177, Mexican boxer Canelo Álvarez has taken fourth place.

The 31-year-old has won multiple world championships in four weight classes from light middleweight to light heavyweight, including unified titles in three of those weight classes. Álvarez is currently a unified super middleweight world champion.

Canelo Álvarez is number four in SportsPro's list of the most marketable athletes in the world

3) Ashlyn Harris

Ashlyn ranks four places higher than her wife Ali Krieger, sitting at number three with 178. The goalkeeper, who plays for Orlando Pride, was part of the US team which won the World Cup in 2015 and 2019.

Harris has also played for Saint Louis Athletica, Washington Freedom, and Western New York Flash, as well as FCR 2001 Duisburg and Tyresö FF.

Ashlyn Harris is number three in SportsPro's list of the most marketable athletes in the world

2) Naomi Osaka

Tennis player Naomi Osaka has become one of the most famous sportswomen in the world for her achievements on and off the court. She ranks as the second most marketable athlete in the world with a score of 179.

The 23-year-old has earned four Grand Slams during her career so far, triumphing at both the US Open and Australian Open twice.

Osaka has also gained significant recognition as an activist. Before each match at last year’s US Open, she entered the Arthur Ashe Stadium wearing a facemask bearing the name of a victim of racism and police brutality in the United States.

The Japanese star has been vocal about her struggles with anxiety and depression, taking time away from the court earlier this year to focus on her mental health.

Naomi Osaka is number two in SportsPro's list of the most marketable athletes in the world

1) Simone Biles

With an influencer score of 183, American gymnast Simone Biles is SportsPro’s most marketable athlete in the world.

Biles is considered one of the greatest gymnasts of all time. With a combined total of 32 Olympic and World Championship medals, she is already the most decorated gymnast in her generation.

The 24-year-old went into Tokyo 2020 with the ambition of defending her four Olympic titles, but, like Osaka, she withdrew from the majority of her events due to a need to focus on her mental health. Biles then showed remarkable resilience to return for the balance beam and earn a bronze medal.

Simone Biles is number one in SportsPro's list of the most marketable athletes in the world

SportsPro's full list can be read here

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