At the end of 2016 we launched the Belgian Athletes Marketability (BAM) Index. The goal for this Index was to help Belgian companies find Belgian athletes who match their values – and boost the personal endorsements of these athletes. Recently, the number 8 of the list made some huge news. Nafi Thiam has been featured in the Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe list and it is easy to see why the global magazine thinks Thiam is a name to look out for and remember.
On the athletic side of things, Thiam has long been forecast as one of Europe’s biggest talents. Winning heptathlon gold at the junior European Championship in 2013 and bronze at the European Championship in 2014. The gold at the Rio Olympics was unexpected in the sense that it came this early in her career. The success on the track is undoubtedly the reason why she is such a great spokesperson for brands. The Olympic champion from Liège has recently been featured in the global Nike campaign #BelieveInMore with Nike Women. This kind of global exposure is something our most famous athletes like Eden Hazard and Tom Boonen haven’t accomplished (yet). Thiam is an athlete who is easy to relate to, multi-cultural and non-controversial.
Other athletes from the BAM-Index from last year have been moving up as well. David Goffin has recently partnered up with AA Drinks as one of his main sponsors. Both Goffin and Thiam have made enormous progress in their respective sports, proving that the main contributor to getting sports endorsements is creating remarkable sports moments. Sometimes you might just get lucky as well. 400m runner Seppe Thys is the face off the new Eurosport – Olympic campaign, but he has yet to make a splash on the track. If so, maybe we’ll see him show up in our next BAM-Index, it’s clearly an accurate tool towards marketability.
The governmental blessing was the start of a spending drift in Chinese club football. It started with older players like Drogba and Anelka, but now it has begun to attract players who are considered to be in their ‘prime’ (Witsel, Pellè, ao.). The Chinese clubs need those players in order to attract crowds, but they need the European clubs to attract the know-how of youth development and give the star players the possibility to play in the most competitive competitions.