Lewis Hamilton named motorsport’s most marketable athlete for 2023

British motorsport legend ranks seventh overall in SportsPro’s 14th annual 50 Most Marketable Athletes list.
  • 11th time Hamilton has been highest-ranked motorsport athlete
  • Verstappen (10th), Norris (25th), and Leclerc (28th) all make final list
  • Perez and Russell fall out of top 50 having featured last year
  • No series outside of Formula One is represented in this year’s 50MM

Lewis Hamilton has been named motorsport’s most marketable athlete for 2023 in SportsPro’s annual list of the world’s 50 Most Marketable Athletes (50MM).

The motorsport legend, who finished top of the rankings back in 2014, has appeared in all but one of the 14 annual editions of 50MM. Hamilton is ranked seventh overall, the eleventh time he has been the highest-placed motorsport athlete.

Following closely behind is his on-track rival Max Verstappen who, despite being the sport’s dominant force at the moment, cannot compare to Hamilton’s off-track marketability. That said, the Dutchman hits his highest-ever ranking in tenth.

The only other two Formula One drivers to make this year’s list are Lando Norris (25th) and Charles Leclerc (28th), with no other motorsport series represented in the top 50.

George Russell and Sergio Perez, who ranked 35th and 36th last year, both drop out of the top 50, but the Mexican is included in the wider 125 athletes list at number 76.

In this wider ranking, there are appearances for Nascar’s Joey Logano (96th) and Kyle Busch (107th) and IndyCar’s Agustin Canapino (125th), but series like MotoGP and Formula E have no representation.

Now in its 14th year, SportsPro’s 50MM list has once again been compiled with the support of NorthStar Solutions Group, which has developed an enhanced methodology to deliver the most comprehensive assessment of athlete marketability ever undertaken.

SportsPro and NorthStar Solutions Group’s expanded methodology assessed hundreds of global athletes across three key scoring pillars: Brand Strength, Total Addressable Market, and ECON – Triple Bottom Line.

For the first time, sophisticated qualitative research was integrated with quantitative marketability measurements, while comprehensive mathematical and statistical formulas from multiple data sources were then applied to determine the final rankings according to each athlete’s Total Marketability Score.

“This year’s 50 Most Marketable Athletes list follows the most comprehensive assessment of athlete marketability we’ve ever undertaken in the 14-year history of SportsPro’s annual ranking,” said Michael Long, editorial director at SportsPro.

“NorthStar’s robust methodology and rich, data-led marketability model has produced not only a compelling list in its own right, but a wealth of fascinating insights and storylines that highlight the ever-evolving trends shaping the sports marketing industry – from the gathering commercial momentum in women’s sport to the growing importance of authenticity and shared purpose in athlete-brand relationships.”

Chris Collins, president at NorthStar Solutions Group added: “This year, we’ve gone even further by introducing innovative additions such as the qualitative research approach, Social Media Ethnography, and a market research perspective that views athlete brands in a sports category similar to how we view brands in a product category. These enhancements have allowed us to unearth deeper athlete stories and broaden our understanding of marketability across entire sports ecosystems.

“As we continue to sponsor the 50 Most Marketable Athlete List, our commitment remains unwavering. We aim to adapt and evolve with the dynamic sports industry, constantly striving to set new standards in delivering a comprehensive understanding of an athlete’s marketability.”

To view the full list of the world’s 50 Most Marketable Athletes, visit 50mm.sportspromedia.com.


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