India’s cricketing superstar, has eclipsed some renowned names internationally to be named the third most marketable athlete in the world. In doing so, Kohli finished ahead of other sporting heroes like Lionel Messi, Novak Djokovic and Usain Bolt.
The list prepared by SportsPro ranks Kohli just behind Stephen Curry (NBA) and Juventus star Paul Pogba. The list is based on the concept of ‘value for money’. This is probably the reason why Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Usain Bolt have finished lower than expected despite such huge star power.
The comprehensive list comprises sportspersons from 21 different nationalities and 20 different sports. The list gives great emphasis on the marketing potential of the athlete over the coming three years. And therefore the results rest on this fundamental question: Which athlete would give brands the best return on their investment if signed to do an endorsement deal over that period?
Lionel Messi is 27th on the list, 19 places behind his teammate Neymar (ranked 8th), whereas world’s fastest man Usain Bolt is 31st. Real Madrid forward Ronaldo is further down the list at 35. Sania Mirza (42) also makes it to the list as the only other Indian apart from Kohli.