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Europe’s Top 10 Most Marketable Footballers

Thu 11th Jun 2015 | Marketing & PR

Cristiano Ronaldo is Europe’s most marketable player according to research released today.

Ahead of the 2016 European Cup qualifiers this weekend, Repucom have revealed the top 10 most marketable footballers from the continent.

In terms of overall marketability, globally, Ronaldo leaves the other European players in his wake. This is largely driven by his worldwide fame, where 83% of people know who he is. Globally, 85% of all men and 80% of all women have heard of the Portuguese superstar.

The research identifies the overall marketability and public awareness levels of players and can provide an invaluable measure to brands in selecting endorsers.

View the full infographic

Second on the list, but some way behind Ronaldo in global awareness is Wayne Rooney. National awareness in the UK of Rooney is 95% but only 54% have heard of the Manchester United star globally.

In his native Spain, 99% of the population know of World Cup and European Championship winner, Andreas Iniesta, where 90% aspire to be like him and 87% of people say they trust him. However, globally, of the 48% of people that know of Iniesta, he commands the highest perception scores of any of the other top 10 players for both public aspiration (80%) and trust (71%).

Andrew Walsh, football expert and Global Director Enterprise Services, Repucom, said: “Taking the disparity we see in aspiration of half of these players, it is clear to see that there are real, tangible insights one can extract from figures like this.

“It’s interesting to see how certain player’s global profiles play in stark contrast to the way they are seen in their domestic markets. It is insights like this that make certain players competing in the forthcoming European Championships more suitable for domestic marketing efforts than others.

“Sponsors shouldn’t just look at the most famous players to market their brands but actually at how perceptions shift between countries and population demographics to ensure the biggest return on their investment.

“Take appeal as another defining criteria of public perception.

“Globally, of the percentage of people that know of Götze (39%), Van Persie (46%) and Ronaldo (83%), more women than men say that they actually like these players.

“This makes them especially effective brand endorsers for products aimed at this target group. This weekend’s matches will give us a good indication of how the national players will be used in such campaigns.” 

One of the biggest match ups this weekend will be that of Real Madrid and Wales’ talisman, Gareth Bale and Chelsea and Belgium forward, Eden Hazard.

The two face each other on Friday, where although more people know of Bale (35%) internationally compared to Hazard (28%), domestically, the Belgian enjoys a much higher profile, known by 80% of the population, than Bale does in the UK, currently known by only 62% of people. 

If FC Barcelona treble winner, Lionel Messi was counted in the European rankings, he would have come in second behind Ronaldo in terms of overall marketability, being known by 74% of people globally and 99% of people in his native Argentina.   

Action Images / Jason Cairnduff

Posted by: Aaron Gourley

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