Photo: Messi, Neymar, Pujols and Silva. Most Marketable Latino Athletes
Four Latin American athletes made it to SportPro Magazine’s top 50 Marketable Athletes of 2011.
The list, published by the magazine evaluates athletes’ three-year track record as well as their future potential for sponsors.
The first one of the list is Jamaican runner Usain Bolt, followed by Miami Heat star Lebron James. Cristiano Ronaldo came in third.
Below, the four Latinos who made it to the list:
At #4 Argentine phenom Lionel Messi. Without a doubt, the best soccer player in the planet right now earned a reported $23.5 million last year after securing deals with Swiss luxury watchmaker Audemars Piguet and Chinese car manufacturer Chery. “Messi’s brand has been built exclusively on his footballing ability and achievements,” Said the magazine, that has made him hot property for the likes of Adidas, Pepsi and Konami, who have always concentrated much of their marketing around soccer.”
At #17 Brazil’s 19 year old star Neymar, who following a spectacular career as a striker at the Santos club in Brazil, will soon be playing for European clubs. “Nike recently signed the striker to an 11-year deal, while Panasonic spent $2.4 million to secure his services for two years in March” reports SportPro. “Neymar has worked with agency Traffic Sports Management and as of April with 9ine.”
Alberto Pujols, the 31 year-old Dominican slugger for the St. Louis Cardinals came in at #25. SportsPro ranks him as the most marketable man in baseball at the moment despite having failed to secure is dream move in Major League Baseball’s offseason. His value is likely to increase after he leads the Dominican National Team at the 2013 World Baseball Classic. “The 2006 World Series champion has developed a following across the United States, reflected by his appearances in national advertising campaigns for toiletries brand Dove and breakfast cereal Wheaties. He has also won admiration for his charitable work, including the establishment of the Pujols Family Foundation, which supports people with Down’s syndrome and their families.”
The last Latin American in the list is Brazilian Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight champion Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva, who has become the longest running UFC champion by defending his title eleven times, in a brutal string of knock-outs. Some, regard “The Spider” as the greatest mixed martial artist of all time. Right now, and as a part of UFC’s expansion plans, “Silva breaks into the rankings as a value-for-money athlete with a golden opportunity to cement his position as a home-grown hero in an enormous market, and a global superstar in a sport that is rapidly becoming one of the industry’s hottest new properties with broadcasters and sponsors alike.” SportsPro contends.