SportsPro Media, a multi-media team that delivers news, insights and analysis on sports, recently named their list of the world’s most marketable athletes in 2012. Athletes were chosen not only by home market appeal and sporting performance, but also value for the money, age, charisma, willingness and crossover appeal. Alex Ovechkin was named 11th on the list, being ranked ahead of notable athletes like basketball stars Lebron James and Kevin Durant, multi-sports star Shaun White, and NASCAR driver Danica Patrick. Ahead of Ovechkin were NFLer Tim Tebow, golfer Rory McIlroy and sprinter Usain Bolt.
The post heralded Ovechkin as “his country’s biggest sporting star,” and detailed his relationship with Russian tennis player Maria Kirilenko as well as his deals with Bauer and Nike.
The only other hockey player on the list was Pittsburgh Penguins Center Evgeni Malkin, who was ranked 33rd. The SportsPro Media website offers that Malkin (and possibly fellow country-man Ovechkin) were chosen due to their marketability which is “set to soar over the next couple of years in the lead up to his home Olympics in Sochi in 2014″ similar to the “swirl of commercial hype that enveloped Crosby around the time of his home Games.”