The NBA: A Marketing Glamor Profession

November 30, 2012
With big-name acquisitions and in-season coaching drama, the Los Angeles Lakers have become the dominant NBA franchise in terms of marketing potential, according to a recent Nielsen/E-Poll study, which looked at the endorsement potential of the top 50 active NBA players ranked by overall N-Score.

Among those fifty active NBA players, six were on the Lakers’ roster—including Metta World Peace, who also made the list under his given name, Ron Artest—the most out of any team with players on the list. Cross-town rivals, the Los Angeles Clippers, had no shortage of N-Score top rankers with five, solidifying the city’s status as glamorous and star-studded, both on and off court. Chicago, following in the footsteps of N-Score perennial top dog, Michael Jordan (whose N-Score is a whopping 553), can also boast about their N-Score “players.” The Windy City has six active players who ranked in the top 50.

“With so many unique personalities in the league today, it doesn’t necessarily have to be the biggest stars that have the best endorsement potential for a company,” said Stephen Master, SVP of Sports for Nielsen. “N-Score helps identify those who may fit a company’s voice and brand strategy the best.”

Other findings include:

Los Angeles Lakers
Kobe Bryant takes second in overall N-Score (126) to newly acquired point guard Steve Nash, who has an N-Score of 139, but Bryant bests Nash in overall awareness over two-to-one.

Los Angeles Clippers
While the Lakers beat the Clippers as a team in overall N-Score (350 to 149), they have nothing on ageless Clips veteran Grant Hill, who is ranked as the most handsome player in the study. Nearly a quarter of respondents who recognize Hill also think he is handsome!

Miami Heat
They may have just lifted a championship trophy, but Heat players may be suffering from over-exposure. Three of their big names are ranked in the top ten most over-exposed category with LeBron James leading his team. Twenty-seven percent of panelists thought they’ve seen too much of King James.

Chicago Bulls
The most talented player on the N-Score top 50? The Bull’s Derrick Rose. Seventy percent of people thought the former NBA MVP had talent. Rose also tops the list as the most dynamic.

Oklahoma Thunder
Sure, they have no rings and have lost a dynamic playmaker in James Harden to the Houston Rockets, but among the team’s only two active players among the top 50 in N-Score—Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant— respondents think this team has the most talent.

Washington Wizards
While John Wall was the only player on his team to make the active top 50 N-Score list, he did top all players as the most trend-setting. Seventeen percent of people who recognize Wall, thought he was trend-setting.

N-Score Methodology
Using the combined research expertise of Nielsen and E-Poll Market Research, N-Score is an in-depth look at a sports figure’s overall endorsement potential, factoring in the attributes and demographic measures that align brands with endorsers. Each individual N-Score National survey is administered to 1,100 people within that panel via the internet. The sample is representative of the general population based on gender, income, age and education.


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