Spon­sor­ship worth £9m shoots Bale into top 30

South Wales Echo - - NEWS -

GARETH Bale is one of only three Bri­tish sports stars to make it into the world’s 30 most mar­ketable, ac­cord­ing to new re­search.

The Wales foot­ball leg­end, whose spon­sors in­clude Adi­das, EA, Sony and Foot Locker, crept into the rank­ings at 29 with en­dorse­ments worth £9m, while ten­nis’ Roger Fed­erer tops the ta­ble as the world’s most mar­ketable sports star.

De­spite be­ing out of ac­tion for six months and just re­turn­ing to ac­tion for the start of the sea­son in Aus­tralia, Fed­erer amassed al­most £50m in of­f­court earn­ings last year with en­dorse­ments from Nike, Wil­son, Credit Suisse, Mercedes and Rolex.

Fierce com­pe­ti­tion be­tween global cloth­ing brands drives in­come for the rich­est ath­letes ranked in the Sports Mar­ket­ing Power List by the London School of Mar­ket­ing.

NBA star LeBron James is se­cond, with more than £44m, ahead of golfer Phil Mick­el­son, whose en­dorse­ments amassed £41m, and in­jured Tiger Woods with £36.9m.

Of the three Bri­tish ath­letes to crack the top 30, Bale is joined by Rory McIl­roy, who is in sixth be­hind the NBA’s Kevin Du­rant, and Mur­ray in 22nd.

Amer­i­can bas­ket­ball has the most mar­ketable stars, with eight play­ers in the top 30, while foot­ball has only four rep­re­sen­ta­tives, with Barcelona’s Ney­mar and Lionel Messi join­ing Bale and Ron­aldo.

Ten­nis has seven play­ers on the list, in­clud­ing Ser­ena Wil­liams and the sus­pended Maria Shara­pova, the only two women in the top 30. Sir Andy

Re­searchers say the sports most de­pen­dent on en­dorse­ments are cricket (with 81% of earn­ings com­ing from spon­sors), ten­nis (78%) and golf (75%).

“Male ath­letes still dom­i­nate per­haps be­cause they of­fer ad­van­tages to mar­keters that want to tap into the hard-to-reach male con­sumer mar­ket,” said London School of Mar­ket­ing’s Jac­ques de Cock.

“Fans tend to buy sports cloth­ing and equip­ment based on what the key sports­men wear, which ex­plains why en­dorse­ments are such a ma­jor part of cricket, ten­nis and golf.

“En­dorse­ments are such a pow­er­ful way for brands to mar­ket their prod­ucts. This is be­cause they in­crease brand aware­ness, val­i­date prod­uct fea­tures, boost brand eq­uity, and reach the dif­fi­cult 16- 30 year old male mar­ket.”

NICK POTTS

Gareth Bale is one of the world’s top 30 most mar­ketable sports stars ac­cord­ing to new re­search

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