Simone Biles And Naomi Osaka Top The 50 Most Marketable Athletes List

This year’s SportsPro 50 Most Marketable Athlete’s list has two Black women on the top of the list. Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka occupy the top two spots.



Nielsen’s proprietary methodology fully powers this year’s SportsPro 50 Most Marketable (50MM) Athletes list for assessing athlete marketability, the Influencer Selection, and Measurement Framework.

It draws on vast amounts of social media data to generate an Athlete Influencer Score comprising four key data points: relevance, reach, return, and resonance. In this day and age, athletes are more in control of their branding and marketing strategies, the list showcases who has the most juice in the space.

The data monitors the athlete’s social media campaign effectiveness and helps sponsors maximize impact. In addition, the Influencer Selection and Measurement Framework incorporated a range of performance and sponsorship-related Key Performance Indicators, such as the athlete’s social following, content engagement, fanbase growth over time, media value, and the implementation of branded versus organic content.


In total, the Instagram accounts for over 6,000 athletes from 21 sports were tracked over the last 12 months.

Other notable athletes like boxing pound for pound king Saul “Canelo” Alvarez made number 4. Race car Driver Lewis Hamilton (#16) and WNBA player Te’a Cooper (#17) round out the notables in the top twenty.

Tennis GOAT Serena Williams (#21), NBA Star LeBron James (#24), Cam Newton (#46) and Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker (#50) round out the list.

The fact that Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka have championed mental health as a priority and chosen to value it over competition, is proof that their marketability hasn’t suffered because of their personal decisions. These women are considered champions and relatable brands in and out of the athletic arena.

Back to top