Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton's remarkable 2014 continued today as he was named the most marketable sports star on the face of the planet.
The Mercedes driver is in the form of his life having won each of the last four races to lead the Formula 1 driver's championship from team-mate Nico Rosberg - and will be aiming for five-in-a-row at the sport's showpiece event this weekend, the Monaco Grand Prix.
Now he has even more reason to celebrate after SportsPro magazine ranked him ahead of the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo & Usain Bolt as the most marketable athlete on the planet.
The magazine picked their top 50 list based on criteria such as charisma, age, how desirable they are to sponsors and their appeal across all sports over the next three years.
Hamilton, who is reportedly worth almost £70 million, seemingly ranks well in all those categories thanks to his showbiz relationship with former Pussycat Doll singer Nicole Scherzinger and his jet-set lifestyle.
Behind Hamilton in second place on the list is cricketer Virat Kohli with the Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III in third place.
Cristiano Ronaldo takes fourth place, ahead of tennis star Grigor Dimitrov and Usain Bolt.
Neymar, who topped the list in both 2012 and 2013, has dropped down to 7th despite his big-money move to Barcelona last year and his role as the face of the World Cup in Brazil next month.
SportsPro editor-in-chief David Cushnan said: "This was a close one. Opinion was split on the top spot this year – our extensive research and debate concluded that there is no obvious standout candidate who is head and shoulders above the rest for the number one position in 2014.
"Several of the final top ten were considered but Hamilton scored highly in every area and certainly deserves to top the list.
“He is already a well-established global sports star, of course, but the next three years will be pivotal in determining whether he can make good on his obvious talent and add to his 2008 world title. A dominant car and his brilliant run of form so far this year only underlined our view that he is a man that brands should continue paying attention to: he will deliver the goods for them.”
Top 10 most marketable sports stars:
1) Lewis Hamilton – motorsport, Great Britain
2) Virat Kohli – cricket, India
3) Robert Griffin III – football, USA
4) Cristiano Ronaldo – soccer, Portugal
5) Grigor Dimitrov – tennis, Bulgaria
6) Usain Bolt – athletics, Jamaica
7) Neymar – soccer, Brazil
8) Missy Franklin – swimming, USA
9) Blake Griffin – basketball, USA
10) Sloane Stephens – tennis, USA
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