McIlroy overtaken by Scott, Spieth in marketability stakes

Rory McIlroy and Caroline Woznaicki have tumbled in the SportsPros' annual list of the Top 50 most marketable athletes on the planet. But they're not the only ones to suffer a change in fortunes.

Ranked 3rd last year, McIlroy is now 24th with Wozniacki down 25 places from 23rd to 48th.

Lewis Hamilton takes over from Neymar as No 1 with the Braziiian down to seventh.

The top golfer this year is new world No 1 Adam Scott with Jordan Spieth next on the list at 19th.

McIlroy isn't the only big name to fall. Lionel Messi's average year with Barça has seen him fall from No 2 to 11th.

As for SportsPro's take on McIlroy, they point to the 2016 Olympics and the next two Ryder Cups as huge for him.

If you're wondering if he will compete in Rio, remember how much cash is at stake for him and his sponsors. 

24 Rory McIlroy - British, 25, Golf (Last year 3)

Having set out under a weight of public expectation, following his heavily publicised endorsement deal with Nike Golf, McIlroy endured a difficult 2013 season. Whilst the 25-year-old came of age commercially last year, scoring mega-deals with Nike, Bose and Omega, he struggled desperately for form and failed to win a single event on the PGA Tour.

McIlroy’s quest for consistency in his game was not helped by the numerous high-profile issues that seemed to plague his life away from it. The Northern Irishman became embroiled in two well-documented legal disputes, one, now settled, with ex-sponsor Oakley and the other with his former management company Horizon Sports. The turn of the year, however, brought with it a turn of fortune for the young golfer.

Now represented by his own agency, Rory McIlroy Incorporated (RMI), and engaged to long-term partner Caroline Wozniacki, McIlroy registered top-ten finishes in five of his first seven events in 2014. With two Ryder Cups and an Olympic Games on the horizon, the coming years hold much in store for McIlroy, and whether representing Great Britain or Ireland when golf ends its Olympic hiatus in 2016, he will gain exposure to a vast and potentially lucrative new market. McIlroy remains one of golf’s hottest properties and, 13 years the junior of Nike stablemate Tiger Woods, has time on his side as he seeks to continue where he left off in 2012 and become the standout champion that his sport so badly craves.

48 Caroline Wozniacki - Danish, 23, Tennis (Last year23)

"Lagardère Unlimited have been successful in positioning the Dane as much more than a tennis player....She is, after all, one of only a few female athletes with a profile established enough to justify launching a personal underwear line and her endorsement portfolio, stocked with the likes of Adidas, Oriflame, Turkish Airlines and Dubai Duty Free, is the envy of most in women’s sport. Last year Wozniacki earned an estimated US$11 million from endorsements alone, placing her firmly among the world’s highest-paid sportswomen."