London: India's ODI cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been named as the ninth most marketable sportsperson in the world ahead of the likes of football superstar Lionel Messi and sprint king Usain Bolt in a power list prepared by London School of Marketing.
34-year-old Dhoni, considered one of the finest ever finishers of the one-day game, was placed ahead of other football superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar and tennis players Andy Murray and Serena Williams in the list of the world's 20 most marketable sportspersons.
While compiling the list, LSM researchers looked at the brand value of the individuals along with their current income from sponsorship and the percentage of their total earnings it accounted for as well as their social media presence.
Swiss tennis master Roger Federer was named as the most marketable sports star in the world, followed by golfers Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson at second and third respectively.
Despite his loss in the Wimbledon final to Novak Djokovic, Federer is considered one of the most influential persons in the world. The Swiss, who has 17 Grand Slam singles titles to his credit, missed his chance to grab his eighth Wimbledon title recently.
"He may not have won Wimbledon this year, but it's Federer's personal characteristics which sponsors find so attractive," said Jacques de Cock, faculty member at the London School of Marketing.
Tennis stars dominate the power list with Djokovic seventh on the list, followed by Rafael Nadal. Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams -- the only two women to make it into the top 20 -- claim the 12th and 20th spots, respectively.
"Despite having passed their peak physically, Roger Federer, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are kings," de Cock said.
The List: Roger Federer, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Rory McIlroy, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kobe Bryant, Maria Sharapova, Lionel Messi, Usain Bolt, Neymar, Andy Murray, Kei Nishikori, Derrick Rose, Floyd Mayweather, Serena Williams.