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Simone Biles named world’s most marketable athlete for 2021

US gymnastics star tops SportsPro’s 50 Most Marketable Athletes list.

Four-time Olympic gold medal winner Simone Biles takes top spot in SportsPro’s 2021 list of the World’s 50 Most Marketable Athletes presented by Greenfly getting the upper edge on personalities such as Naomi Osaka and USWNT goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris and social activist Ashlyn Harris, boxing great Canelo Alvarez, along with Argentinian soccer star Paulo Dybala round out this year’s top five.

This year’s 50 Most Marketable (50MM) Athletes list is presented by digital social media flow leader specialist Greenfly and powered by Zoomph’s digital engagement measurement expertise. The methodology draws on vast amounts of social media data to generate an Athlete Influencer Score comprising five key metrics: post frequency, reach, engagement, fan demographic and fan attractiveness.

Designed to accurately measure social media marketability, the Athlete Influencer Score is based not just on an athlete’s social media reach, but also demographic makeup and consumer affinities of their audience. More than 7,000 athletes who have been active in 2021 on at least three of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok were tracked and analysed in order to inform the list.

Now in its 12th year, SportsPro’s 50MM platform enables sports marketers to make sponsorship decisions more quickly and intelligently than ever by objectively assessing where true value lies in sports marketing through the application of in-depth data analysis, social media monitoring, and consumer insights.

After their successful launch in 2020, this year also sees the continuation of the separate global top 50 lists for brands and properties, including leagues, teams, governing bodies and major events across the globe. Those two lists will be published in the coming months.

The 2021 list of the World’s 50 Most Marketable Athletes presented by Greenfly has been released in full today via a dedicated 50MM content hub containing interactive tables and graphics, individual commercial profiles, features, podcasts and more.

Tom Kuhr, chief marketing officer at Greenfly, stated that: “SportsPro’s list demonstrates a shift in athlete marketability that goes beyond reach and engagement. Fans want to connect directly with athletes on social, bypassing leagues and teams. When athletes are authentic and relatable, they’re able to connect more deeply with fans and followers. That’s what brands should be looking for now - honest endorsement and an audience that listens. Reach and frequency is perfect for assessing ad spend, but athletes are really our most valuable influencers.”

SportsPro 50 Most Marketable Athletes presented by Greenfly - the top ten: 1 - Simone Biles, Gymnastics, USA, 24 2 - Naomi Osaka, Tennis, Japan, 23 3 - Ashlyn Harris, Soccer, USA, 35 4 - Canelo Alvarez, Boxing, Mexico, 31 5 - Paulo Dybala, Soccer, Argentina, 27 6 - Cristiano Ronaldo, Soccer, Portugal, 36 7 - Ali Krieger, Soccer, USA, 37 8 - Stefanos Tsitsipas, Tennis, Greece, 23 9 - Novak Djokovic, Tennis, Serbia, 34 10 - Alex Morgan, Soccer, USA, 32