Dale Earnhardt Jr., Danica Patrick Named To List Of 'World's 50 Most Marketable Athletes'

NASCAR stars Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Danica Patrick are among the "World's 50 Most Marketable Athletes," according to research conducted by SportsPro Media.

Using marketability over a three-year period as its key barometer, Earnhardt Jr. was ranked 45th while Patrick checked in at 49th. Emphasis was placed on "marketing potential and value for money" along with age, home market, charisma, willingness and crossover appeal.

The study Earnhardt Jr.'s popularity – he's won the NASCAR NMPA Most Popular Driver award for the last nine years – and earnings (reportedly earned $28 million last year) as key factors.

Patrick, who is in her first full season in NASCAR and is the only woman to have won an IndyCar race, has become a mainstream celebrity due to her numerous Super Bowl commercials and on-track success in open-wheel racing.

Both NASCAR drivers made last year's list as well, with Earnhardt Jr. ranked 41st and Patrick 38th.

Also joining Earnhardt Jr. and Patrick on the list were three Formula One drivers: Lewis Hamilton (12th), Sebastian Vettel (8th) and Sergio Perez (23rd).

You can view the complete rankings here.

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