Tennis legend Roger Federer has beaten the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and NBA star Lebron James to be named world's most marketable athlete of 2016 by the London School of Marketing. The list also featured other names from tennis--Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, while golfers dominated the Top 10.
Despite having an offseason and being out of action for almost six months, tennis legend Roger Federer is the world's most marketable sportsperson in 2016, according to a study conducted by London School of Marketing. The 17-time grand slam champion has earned nearly $60.7m in sponsorships and endorsements beating basketball star Lebron James, who took the second position on the list with earnings of $53.8m in 2016. Unlike Federer, Lebron James had a successful year by winning the NBA title with Cleveland Cavaliers.
Phil Mickelson, the five-time major golf champion, and former world number one Tiger Woods are next on the list after playing a key role in Team USA reclaiming the Ryder Cup. Britains's Rory Mcilroy ($34.8m) and USA's Jordan Spieth ($31.8m) were ranked 6th and 9th in a top 10 dominated by golfers.
Cristiano Ronaldo was the only footballer in the Top 10 after earning $31.8m through endorsements while Lionel Messi was placed 11th with earnings of $27.9m.
Novak Djokovic (7th, $33.8m) and Rafael Nadal (10th, $31.8m) also joined Federer in the top 10, while Andy Murray languishes down in 22nd despite becoming the World No.1 in ATP rankings and winning the Wimbledon in 2016.
Maria Sharapova, despite being banned from professional tennis for almost nine months, has earned $19.9m in 2016. The Russian, alongside Serena Williams ($19.9m) are the only female athletes to make it to the top 20.
Jacques de Cock, faculty member at London School of Marketing said: "The top 100 athletes earned a total of £2.6bn ($3.16bn) last year. The sponsorship revenues are driven upwards mainly by the competition of major clothing brands.
"Male athletes still dominate perhaps because they offer advantages to marketers that want to tap into the traditionally hard to reach male consumer market.
"Fans tend to buy sports clothing and equipment based on what the key sportsman wear, which explains why endorsements are such a major part of cricket, tennis and golf.”
World's top 10 marketable sports stars (Source: London School of Marketing)
1) Roger Federer (tennis)
2) LeBron James (basketball)
3) Phil Mickelson (golf)
4) Tiger Woods (golf)
5) Kevin Durant (basketball)
6) Rory Mcilroy (golf)
7) Novak Djokovic (tennis)
8) Cristiano Ronaldo (football)
9) Jordan Spieth (golf)
10) Rafael Nadal (tennis)