Manny in world’s famous athletes list
SPORTING CHANCE - Joaquin M. Henson (The Philippine Star) - June 15, 2018 - 12:00am

Here’s another accolade for Sen. Manny Pacquiao. For the third straight year, ESPN Magazine came up with a list of the world’s 100 most famous athletes and Pacquiao was ranked No. 63, overshadowing the likes of football’s Javier Hernandez of Mexico, Thomas Muller of Germany, Kylian Mbappe of France and Alvaro Morata of Spain, F1 superstar Lewis Hamilton of England, the NBA’s Blake Griffin and Isaiah Thomas, the NFL’s J. J. Watt and Russell Wilson, boxer Wladimir Klistchko, cricket’s Ravichandran Ashwin of India, tennis’ Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland, Simona Halep of Romania and Sania Mirza of India, golfers Justin Rose of England, Sergio Garcia of Spain, Rickie Fowler of the US and Michelle Wie of the US, figure skating’s Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan, table tennis’ Zhang Jike and Ma Long of China and swimmers Ning Zetao and Fu Yuanhui of China.

The Asian stars who ranked above Pacquiao were Chinese swimmer Sun Yang, badminton’s Saina Nehwal of India and cricket’s Virat Kohli, MS Dohni, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh of India. The highest-ranked Asian was Kohli, a 29-year-old batsman who landed in the No. 11 spot. 

The ranking was based on three “fame” factors – endorsement dollars, google trend score which measures how often a name is searched and social media following. ESPN Magazine pre-named over 600 high-profile athletes from 68 countries to start the survey then using the rating criteria, trimmed the list to the top 100.

Not surprisingly, Portuguese footballer Cristiano Renaldo was at the top of the cast with $40 Million in endorsements and a social media following of 121.7 million. Football or soccer contributed two other stars in the top 10 – No. 3 Lionel Messi of Argentina and No. 4 Neymar of Brazil. There were 33 football players in the top 100.

LeBron James placed No. 2 overall with $55 Million in endorsements and a social media following of 40.8 million. In the category of endorsement dollars, US golfer Phil Mickelson was second with $50 Million and another American parbuster Tiger Woods third with $45 Million. Other golfers with over $30 Million in endorsements were Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and American Jordan Spieth. Tennis players with at least $20 Million in endorsements were Roger Federer of Switzerland ($40 Million), Rafael Nadal of Spain ($33 Million), Novak Djokovic of Serbia ($30 Million) and American Serena Williams ($28 Million). Cricket stars with over $10 Million in endorsements were Kohli ($19 Million), Dhoni ($16 Million) and Sharma ($12 Million).

NBA players with at least $10 Million in endorsements were James, Kevin Durant ($36 Million), Steph Curry ($35 Million), James Harden ($20 Million), Russell Westbrook ($15 Million), Damian Lillard ($14 Million), Derrick Rose ($14 Million), Dwayne Wade ($13 Million) and Kyrie Irving ($13 Million).

In boxing alone, Pacquiao ranked sixth behind Floyd Mayweather, Conor McGregor, Anthony Joshua, Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin. Pacquiao was third in social media following with 11.4 million after McGregor’s 22.6 million and Mayweather’s 20.1 million. Pacquiao’s endorsements amounted to $2.5 Million, the fourth highest in the fight game. Mayweather had the highest figure of $15 Million then McGregor with $9 Million and Joshua with $2.9 Million.

Durant, the NBA’s back-to-back Finals MVP, said investing his hard-earned money is critical to prepare for the future. He now has investments in about 30 companies whose businesses range from online digital currency, phone apps, beverages, a pizza chain, logistics and bike sharing. 

In an interview with ESPN Magazine’s Darren Rovell, Durant said the first step to knowing a business is realizing there is a lot to learn. “You have to remove the ego of it and realize that you don’t know it all,” he said. “I want to learn more about this life and this business and this world. So I’ve got to ask questions and I’ve got to have an open mind to it all. Your brain kind of functions a little different as you get older. You see the business of yourself first. You know what kind of image you want to portray, what stories you want to tell and how you want to use your resources to make everything grow. So I tried to look at the business of me first. Then, I hired guys, my financial guys, my foundation people, just knowing that you can empower people to help push your vision. I have mentors. You just go to dinner with these guys, hang out with them.”

Durant’s advice to athletes is “don’t do things just for money.” Don’t do things just for fame. Do things because you feel right and it feels true.” 

Fake is what runs the world right now. Narratives are what matter. Perception is what matters. So when you’ve got the majority of the world worrying about perception and what they look like, then the people who don’t care about that stuff seem fake to them.”

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