Professional basketball and ski racing don’t regularly overlap, but anything is possible in the off season. Last week, Sports Pro Media listed both NBA MVP Stephen Curry and Mikaela Shiffrin on its annual list of the 50 most marketable athletes of 2016.
The American slalom phenom snagged the 10th spot on the list, making her the only winter sports athlete and one of only three women to secure a top-10 rating. “Away from the slopes, Shiffrin’s easy-going, girl-next-door persona remains an attractive prospect for consumer brands: Red Bull picked her up at the turn of the year while P&G, Wheaties and Uniqlo all ran campaigns featuring the skier throughout 2015,” the magazine article states.
Shiffrin also has a sponsorship deal with the pasta company Barilla, and its products are regularly featured in her social media posts.
This list’s top athletes are not necessarily ranked based on their celebrity status – though it does includes Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Novak Djokovic and Usain Bolt. Instead, the top-ranked athletes are considered marketable because brands can get the most bang for their buck. Charisma and crossover appeal are also considered when Sports Pro Media create this list.
Shiffrin has considerable appeal for brands in the next two years because of the World Championships in St. Moritz, Switzerland next season and the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games. Both of these events provide ample opportunity for Shiffrin to add to her collection of medals and grab media attention.
“It is in the art of unearthing potential and in the business of finding a human hook on which to hang a brand story,” the article continues. “It is, more often than not, in the lottery of picking out that star of the future who can offer bang for a marketing buck, at a time when the cost of signing the most established names to an endorsement deal has grown so high as to be prohibitive for all but the wealthiest multinationals with the largest budgets.”
These are Sports Pro Media’s Top 10 Most Marketable Athletes:
1. Stephen Curry, Basketball
2. Paul Pogba, Soccer
3. Virat Kohli, Cricket
4. Jordan Speith, Golf
5. Anthony Joshua, Boxing
6. Kei Nishikori, Tennis
7. Lydia Ko, Golf
8 Neymar, Soccer
9. Missy Franklin, Swimming
10. Mikaela Shiffrin, Alpine skiing