Sponsorship worth £9m shoots Bale into top 30
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.”
Gareth Bale is one of the world’s top 30 most marketable sports stars according to new research