That Mahendra Singh Dhoni counts big money is common knowledge. But how valuable is the name 'Dhoni'? Pretty much, actually. Believe it or not, but the India skipper raked in a whopping $21 million with his name in 2013.
In fact, he ranks fifth among the world's 'Top 10 Most Valuable Athlete Names'. The list is headed by Swiss tennis ace Roger Federer and American golfing icon Tiger Woods, who made $46 million each in 2013. The name 'Dhoni's is more valuable than Usain Bolt, Kobe Bryant, Li Na, Cristiano Ronaldo and — hold your breath — Lionel Messi.
To quote a report on atpworldtour.com, tournament organisers have to shell out more than $1 million "just to get a starting guarantee from Federer's management".
"Consistency for so many years has benefitted Federer's brand value greatly. In his case, it doesn't even matter if he wins another big tournament again," Hans-Willy Brockes, the head of Europäische Sponsoring Börse (ESB), told Credit Suisse. "A brand's value generally comes from its recognition and the ability to generate sales and earnings based on this recognition. That's why Google and Apple are among the most valuable brands ever, while the brand value of Basler Läckerli cookies is much lower."
WHAT'S IN A NAME? A LOT!
Rank Athlete (Country) Sport Value
1. Roger Federer (SUI) Tennis $46 million
Tiger Woods (USA) Golf $46 million
2. LeBron James (USA) Basketball $27 million
3. Phil Mickelson (USA) Golf $25 million
4. Maria Sharapova (RUS) Tennis $23 million
5. MS Dhoni (IND) Cricket $21 million
6. Usain Bolt (JAM) Track & Field $20 million
7. Kobe Bryant (USA) Basketball $19 million
8. Na Li (CHN) Tennis $15 million
9. Cristiano Ronaldo (POR) Football $13 million
10. Lionel Messi (ARG) Football $13 million