Ash Barty & Sam Kerr Named Australia’s Most Popular Sports Personalities

Ash Barty & Sam Kerr Named Australia’s Most Popular Sports Personalities
B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine

Retired Australian tennis star Ash Barty (R) and Matildas’ captain Sam Kerr (L) have been named Australia’s most popular sports personalities in the Australian Talent Index’s 2024 Top Talent Report.

Barty retains her number one spot on the list, having taken prime position in the inaugural 2022 index, while Kerr moves up seven positions from her 2022 ranking to second place. Wheelchair tennis legend and radio host Dylan Alcott takes third place.

Barty is one of Australia’s most beloved sporting stars, despite her retirement from professional tennis in 2022. Barty was the second Australian tennis player to be ranked world number one and is also a three-time Grand Slam singles champion, claiming titles at the 2019 French Open, the 2021 Wimbledon Championships and the 2022 Australian Open.

The Top Talent Report showcases the latest findings of the Australian Talent Index – a first-of-its-kind, comprehensive talent measurement system that gauges consumers’ awareness, attitudes, and sentiments towards a range of Australian talent, including celebrities, actors, broadcasters, sports stars, and politicians. A nationally representative sample of more than 7,000 Australians were surveyed by Lewers Research since the report’s inception, rating more than 400 personalities and providing comments on how they felt about each one.

The Australian Talent Index is calculated by subtracting the proportion of people who disliked a personality from those who liked or loved them, giving each a score ranging from -100 (universally disliked) to +100 (universally liked).

How sporting talent ranked:

Most trusted women in sport

Former Australian cricketer and one-time captain of the Australian women’s team, Meg Lanning, was considered to be the most trustworthy sport star, followed by fellow cricketer and current team captain, Alyssa Healy, and rugby league player, Millie Boyle.

Best awareness women in sport

In terms of awareness among Australians, Ash Barty topped the list.

Most authentic women in sport

Cricketer Alyssa Healy was considered to be the most authentic sports player, equal with retired tennis star and commentator Casey Dellacqua.

Most likeable women in sport

When it came to likeability, former world number one and 11-time Grand Slam tennis champion, Evonne Goolagong Cawley took out the top spot.

Most controversial

Tennis star Nick Kyrgios was deemed to be Australia’s most controversial sporting star, followed by former professional boxer and rugby league player, Anthony Mundine.

Most entertaining

The Penrith Panthers’ Jarome Luai topped the most entertaining list, followed by former Queensland NRL player and commentator, Jonathan Thurston.

Most relatable
Australian netballer Gretel Bueta and cyclist Anna Meares were considered the most relatable sporting talent.

Sports codes popularity
When it comes to AFL, retired West Coast Eagles star, Nic Naitanui, ranked number one, while Jonathan Thurston took out top spot in the NRL. Ash Barty came in first in tennis, while former international cricketer and commentator Adam Gilchrist took out the prime position in cricket.

“The Talent Index is unique combining like and dislike into a single powerful metric. We developed the index to respond to the growing needs of studios, media operators and marketers to have access to a reliable, robust, and affordable way of measuring a personality’s appeal with an audience. Social media measurement is one dimensional and just not cutting it in 2024,” said Talent Corp managing director, Mark Noakes.

“We were excited to see the rise of sporting talent like Sam Kerr this year, along with the debut of players like Mary Fowler on the index. It demonstrates that the Matildas’ 2023 success resonated with audiences nationally, while Ash Barty’s legacy continues to be felt”.

“Sport is an intrinsic part of Australian culture, which is why sporting stars are often sought out for collaborations with brands. We’ve seen the rise of key brand partnerships for many of the Matildas players on the back of their record success last year, as brands look to leverage their status and likeability with large audience groups”.

Brand endorsement is big business for sporting stars, with many companies investing millions to collaborate with well-known Australian sportspeople. Since her retirement, Ash Barty has partnered with several key brands nationally, including Grill’d, which launched a limited-edition range of Barty Burgers and donated $100,000 to the Ash Barty Foundation as part of the partnership. Barty also has long-term deals with several brands, including luxury car manufacturer Jaguar, Vegemite, Fila, sports equipment brand Head and luxury watchmaker Rado. Sam Kerr also has several major contracts, including a $1m endorsement with Nike and a substantial contract with Mastercard.

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