The SportsPro 50MM list, powered by data giant Nielsen’s “athlete marketability assessment”, uses “methodology which draws on vast amounts of social media data to generate an Athlete Influencer Score comprising four key data points: relevance, reach, return, and resonance”.
All of the athletes tracked (some 6,000 in 21 sports over a 12-month period) were scored to give a final top 50, which has been released this week.
Joshua, who works with a string of blue-chip brands to showcase his marketing power, claims 31st on the list with a score of 76, with his great rival and fellow world heavyweight champion Fury next at 32 with a score of 75.
The British behemoths though are not even the top boxers on the list – that accolade goes to lightweight prodigy Ryan Garcia, who sits in 12th place with a score of 97.
UFC megastar Khabib Nurmagomedov is the leading combat sport athlete on the list – he is at number 7 with a score of 106. Another MMA star, American Jorge Masvidal, is 24th on the list with a rating of 84.
Soccer greats Lionel Messi (115 rating) and Cristiano Ronaldo (113) top the list followed by basketball superstar LeBron James (110) and Indian cricketer Virat Kohli (109).
Canadian tennis prodigy Bianca Andreescu is number 5 with Brazilian soccer ace Neymar sixth. Then, after Khabib, comes another Indian cricketing superstar in Rohit Sharma.
The top 10 is rounded off by Liverpool’s Egyptian soccer star Mo Salah and Juventus’ Argentine ace Paulo Dybala.
Joshua and Fury of course are set to see their value rocket yet further in the coming 12 months. Both have title defences planned in December (Joshua against Kubrat Pulev and Fury against Deontay Wilder) before they hopefully lock horns in the biggest fight in British boxing history next summer.
The pair have already agreed in principle the financial structure of a two-fight deal.