The CHARGE 25 Under 25, created by national sports marketing agency CHARGE, ranked the top 25 athletes under the age of 25 based on 10 data points to determine their marketability. Sources included social media audience and engagement, media coverage and search interest.
The NBA dominated for a second straight year, with 16 players making the list. Boston Celtics small forward Jayson Tatum earned the top spot this year after being ranked 16th on the 2017 list. He scored well across the board, especially in search interest.
The player index was made up of 969 athletes from 48 sports that were born in or primarily play in the United States, including 727 men and 242 women. Last year’s inaugural index included 245 athletes from 22 sports.
“Heading into year two of the index, we took a deep look at the data and the players under consideration and made updates to both,” CHARGE Director of Brand Strategy Jesse Ghiorzi said. “We widened the audience by both athlete and sport to better reflect the sports landscape. Though the data was strong in 2017, we adjusted it by adding some additional sources and tweaking the formula. The result is a list that accurately reflects which athletes are wielding influence today.”
Four women earned spots in the top 25, up from three last year. Gymnast Simone Biles (3rd) and MMA fighter Paige VanZant (6th) both returned, improving their ranks by three and thirteen spots, respectively. Gymnast Aly Raisman (4th) and skier Mikaela Shiffrin (16th) made their debuts.
Among the NBA dominance, three teams had multiple players on the CHARGE 25 Under 25. The Philadelphia 76ers were represented by Joel Embiid (5th), Markelle Fultz (8th) and Rookie of the Year Ben Simmons (24th). Joining top-ranked Jayson Tatum was his Celtics teammate Marcus Smart (17th). Recently drafted Dallas Maverick Luka Doncic (2nd) joined second-year player Dennis Smith, Jr. (25th) as the other pair of basketball teammates.
Dallas was the most represented city as the NFL’s Cowboys returned teammates Ezekiel Elliott (9th) and Dak Prescott (23rd) for a second straight year giving the Big D four players.
Last year’s top ranked athlete, Odell Beckham, Jr. aged out of consideration for this year’s ranking, as he turned 25 in November 2017.
To learn more about the CHARGE 25 Under 25, click here.