Latin America’s Most Marketable Athletes

Soccer superstars Lionel Messi and NeymarJr.(Photos: Darz Mol (Messi) Tânia Rêgo/Agência Brasil (Neymar) )

Barcelona FC’s Neymar and Messi are among the world’s most marketable athletes.


Brazilian soccer player Neymar is the most marketable athlete in the world, according to SportsPro magazine's 2013 ranking.

Athletes from across the world were ranked according to their marketing potential over a three-year period. Criteria include value for money, age, home market, charisma, willingness to be marketed and crossover appeal.

#1 Neymar - Brazilian, 22, Soccer

22-year old Neymar topped the global ranking for the second year in a row. “Neymar is a 21st century model of sporting superstardom, shaping one of the world’s most important emerging markets in wholly unexpected ways,” SportsPro says. In February 2013, he signed a deal with L’Oréal to endorse a personalized line of Drakkar Noir fragrances. Gulliver has manufactured a Neymar range of children’s toys.

#2 Lionel Messi - Argentinian, 26, Soccer

Argentina’s superstar Lionel Messi ranks second in the world in marketability, up from third in 2012. Adidas Dolce and Gabbana, Audemars Piguet and Herbalife are among his key sponsors.

#17 Alan Oliveira - Brazilian, 21, Para-athletics

The 2012 Olympic gold medal champion could become a major star at the 2016 Rio Olympics. “The country has other Paralympic heroes to rally around in that time – the highly decorated swimmer Daniel de Faria Dias chief among them – but it is the image of this 21-year-old Paranese wrapped in the Bando do Brasil that sponsors may find most appealing,” SportsPro says.

#24 Sergio Perez - Mexican, 24, Motorsport

The 24-year old has been supported throughout his motorsport career by the Carlos Slim-funded Escuderia Telmex. He will, though, be integrated into the campaigns of longstanding McLaren sponsors such as Mobil 1, Tag Heuer and Hugo Boss over the coming years, ensuring his profile, in Mexico and beyond, continues to grow, according to the magazine.

#32 Saul Alvarez- Mexican, 23, Boxing

His contract with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions almost guarantees a well-nurtured progression in the professional game, SportsPro says.

# 33 Lucas Moura - Brazilian, 21, Soccer

Sponsored by Adidas, so far he is free from the kind of commercial noise that envelops some of his compatriots, the magazine says.

#46 Anderson Silva -- Brazilian, 39, Mixed Martial Arts

Brazil’s former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva is the least marketable athlete in Latin America on the global 50 ranking, according to SportsPro.  “His commercial appeal was underpinned by the global expansion of his deal with Nike in October 2012, which made him only the second UFC fighter – along with American Jon ‘Bones’ Jones – to have a global deal with the sportswear giant,” the magazine says. “That, in addition to his partnerships with Burger King, Ford and Brazilian soccer team Corinthians among others, cemented Silva as the go-to guy for sponsors looking for a piece of the UFC pie.”

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