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McIlroy deemed second most marketable athlete

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Rory McIlroy is second on a new list of the 50 most marketable athletes in the world. 

McIlroy ranks only behind Brazilian soccer player Neymar on the list compiled by SportsProMedia.com. The Ulsterman was No. 21 a year ago.

It is the third year for the list, which aims to measure the marketability of athletes three years into the future. The ranking criterion considers future monetary value, age, charisma, crossover appeal, their home market and willingness to engage sponsors.

The website considers McIlroy a player easy to root for as 'course-side spectators will him on with the kind of enthusiasm reserved for sons and daughters.'

The 2011 U.S. Open champion was considered especially worthy of the ranking due to his deals with banking company Santander U.K., as well as Audemars Piguet, Footjoy, Jumeirah, Oakley, Skins, Sunseeker and Titleist.

Three other golfers made the top 50. Tiger Woods ranked 47th on the list. Bubba Watson is 20th, while Yani Tseng was the highest-ranked female golfer at No. 10. All three were not ranked last year.