When it comes to marketability, it makes sense that an athlete's stature would take a hit when he or she leaves a large market. Advertisers are looking for athletes with broad appeal, and big cities provide that.
In the case of Jeremy Lin, who left the New York Knicks to sign with the Houston Rockets over the summer, the marketability hit is even more exaggerated. That's because Lin was a unique star playing on one of the most popular sports franchises in the world. And while Houston is a sizable market, it's not New York. Nor do the Rockets have the tradition and following of the Knicks.
So when Lin signed with the Rockets, it made sense that he would become less desirable for advertisers. A new study commissioned by ESPN's Darren Rovell and carried out by The Marketing Arm shows just how far Lin has fallen.
The Marketing Arm runs the runs the Davie-Brown Index, a list of 2,900 celebrities (athletes included) which ranks people on traits such as appeal, trust and influence. Unsurprisingly, Tim Tebow was recently the most coveted athlete endorsement, trailing only Oprah, Kate Middleton and Adele on The Marketing Arm's list.
The Marketing Arm calculated its list in September, before the NBA season started but after Lin had signed with the Rockets, and as ESPN reports, Lin's rankings were quite high. Here are a few of his scores:
Influence: 115 (comparable to Chris Paul and Shaquille O’Neal)
Endorsement: 153 (comparable to Troy Polamalu and Dwyane Wade)
Trendsetter: 214 (comparable to Blake Griffin and LeBron James)
As of December Lin was on the decline in every category:
Influence: 473 (comparable to Rob Gronkowski and Jeff Gordon)
Endorsement: 556 (comparable to Danica Patrick and Mia Hamm)
Trendsetter: 743 (comparable to Andy Roddick and Phil Mickelson)
But unlike many of these other athletes, Lin does have a humongous fan base in Asia. As fellow NBAers look eastward for their endorsements, Lin's ties to the continent could be a serious boon.