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Yani Tseng seen as world's 10th most marketable athlete

2012/05/30 13:25:35

Los Angeles, May 29 (CNA) Top-ranked female golfer Yani Tseng of Taiwan has been ranked as the world's 10th most marketable athlete and New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin 21st by sports business journal SportsPro Magazine.

Tseng made the list for the first time since the magazine began compiling its annual ranking of the world's 50 most marketable athletes three years ago.

The 23-year-old Taiwanese golfer is the only female athlete and only Asian athlete to rank among the top 10 this year.

SportsPro, a B2B magazine covering financial, business and sponsorship news related to the world's major sports, said Tseng's infectious smile and genuine enthusiasm for golf "create an aura that grabs the attention of galleries and living rooms, captivating even casual sports fans."

"People know they're witnessing greatness," wrote the magazine in its entry for Tseng.

In April, Tseng appeared in Time magazine's list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World for 2012.

Tseng has won three LPGA Tour titles so far this year and has captured five major titles since joining the tour in 2008.

Jeremy Lin, the first American-born NBA player of Taiwanese descent, is also a newcomer to the SportsPro's annual list.

An overnight sensation born of years of relentless, focused effort, Lin jumped from obscurity to global stardom after leading the struggling Knicks to a seven-game winning streak in February.

The 23-year-old Harvard graduate's unheralded rise is "among the most compelling stories of the sporting year," the magazine said.

Though a knee injury in late March may have raised some concerns about Lin's durability, the magazine said brands "could hardly be faulted for backing an intelligent, grounded, hardworking young athlete with international name recognition and cross-market pull."

"Volvo became the first to do so in March, hoping to leverage his burgeoning popularity in basketball mad China -- now the world's biggest car market," SportsPro wrote.

The top nine athletes on the SportsPro list are Neymar (Brazil, soccer); Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland, golf); Lionel Messi (Argentina, soccer); Usain Bolt (Jamaica, track); Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, soccer); Blake Griffin (U.S., basketball); Novak Djokovic (Serbia, tennis); Sebastian Vettel (Germany, racing); and Tim Tebow (U.S., football).

(By Oscar Wu and Sofia Wu)