Yankee Players Dominate Baseball Marketability

March 29, 2011

nielsen-baseball-32911.JPGThree of the 10 most marketable current Major League Baseball players are members of the New York Yankees, according to Nielsen and E-Poll’s N-Score ranking. The top two players, Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera, are both Yankees, as is number nine Alex Rodriguez.

The N-Score measures name and image awareness, appeal and personality attributes such as sincerity, approachability, experience and influence, both at the national and local levels, in terms of endorsement potential.

Jeter Outshines All Others on Natl Level

In terms of national marketability, even the other Yankees on the list cannot compare to Jeter. His national N-Score of 165 is almost triple that of his closest competitor and teammate Rivera. Locally, Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer, who is a native of the area and took less money than he could have gotten elsewhere to stay with the Twins, has a local N-Score of 620, well ahead of his nearest local N-Score competitor, St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols (471).

Jeter ranks fourth in local N-Score with a score of 407, behind Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki (454), who is extremely popular with that area’s large population of people of Japanese descent.

Position Players Have Edge

While starting pitchers typically play only once every five days, starting position players (infielders and outfielders) play virtually every day and relief pitchers make irregular appearances but typically play more often than starting pitchers. Frequency of appearance in games seems to aid N-Score rankings, as eight of the top 10 players are position players, with Rivera being a relief pitcher and Philadelphia Phillie Roy Halladay a starting pitcher.

East Coast Players Take 5 Spots

Five of the top 10 players as ranked by national N-Score, including the top two, play on the East Coast-based teams of the Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays (Evan Longoria) and Phillies. No other region provides as many players, with the Midwest providing two (Pujols and Mauer), the South providing two (Atlanta Brave Chipper Jones and Texas Ranger Josh Hamilton), and the West Coast providing one (Suzuki).

Berra Beats All

For all of baseball, including current and former players, commentators and owners, a few all-time greats lead the pack. Former Yankee catcher Yogi Berra holds the top spot, with an N-Score of 257, followed by former New York/San Francisco Giants and New York Mets outfielder Willie Mays (236), and former Baltimore Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken, Jr. (228).

In addition, former Yankee manager Joe Torre beat out his former players with a score of 207, making him baseball’s fourth most marketable personality.

White Top Male Athlete Endorser

Nielsen’s recent report “The Year in Sports 2010” indicates that using the N-Score, three of the top five overall current male athlete endorsers are members of the US Olympic team. Olympic snowboarder Shaun White score substantially higher than any other male athlete with a rating of 536, while speedskater Apolo Anton Ohno comes in third with a score of 273 and swimmer Michael Phelps comes in fifth with a score of 212.

Rounding out the top five are NBA basketball star Shaquille O’Neal in second with a score of 336 and NFL quarterback Peyton Manning coming in fourth with a score of 262. Athletes with an N-score of 200 or higher are considered “Hall of Fame” level and represent the top 4% of all endorsers.

About the Data: 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. N-Score Local provides this information for athletes within their team’s local market as well as nationwide. Players are defined as Hall of Fame (receiving an N-Score of 200+), Superstar (100 to 199), MVP (50 to 99), All Star (30 to 49) and Starter (less than 30).


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