Sports is an All-American pastime enjoyed by citizens across the country. It’s no doubt today’s youth and sports enthusiasts idolize athletes on a regular basis. Scouts and agents scour the professional ranks for players that are marketable and can impact sales. Player’s within the National Basketball Association(NBA) are no exception to this trend.
The NBA has some of the country’s most world-class athletes and many of them are world-class people off the court as well. A player’s ability to share their life and personality off the court is very beneficial in terms of building a fan base, obtaining endorsements, and securing a good relationship with the media.
Let’s take a look at some of the decade’s most celebrated players and explore what makes them so marketable. Here are the top five:
Michael Jordan is an internationally recognized name whose face has graced the covers of magazines across the globe. He has also received notable endorsements form brands such as Nike, Wheaties, and Gatorade. Michael’s story is an inspiration to many young athletes as he is known to have been cut from his high school basketball team before emerging as a star at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and eventually as an icon in the NBA. This story provides a lesson in perseverance and self-belief and makes him very relatable to the average player.
Shaq is also also a great marketer. His goofy off-court persona has earned him endorsements with Pepsi, Reebok, and Burger King. Shaquille was a seven foot giant which gave him a big game that matched his larger-than-life personality off the court. He was involved in many outside ventures from producing a rap album to starring in several movie appearances. Always the entertainer, the NBA will be hard-pressed to find another Shaquille O’Neil.
LeBron is so famous that he is regularly referenced by only his first name: LeBron. The NBA’s leading man has garnered endorsements from the likes of Nike, McDonalds, Coca-Cola and Beats by Dre and has harnessed two championship rings. As one of the NBA’s younger stars he relates to youth and his swagger and association with billionaire celebrities definitely contributes to his marketability as a player and personality.
Magic is one of the NBA’s most influential athletes of all time. He led the crusade on HIV awareness in the 80s and branched out to create his own company. He also invests in additional ventures showing how easily an athlete can build their brand and create an empire. His on-court style was flashy and entertaining and he is regarded as one of the most decorated point guards in NBA history. He established endorsements with popular brands Starbucks and Pepsi to name a few.
The Black Mamba is a tried and true example of great marketability. He launched the Lakers as a world-class franchise with his flashy style, high-scoring games, and participation in the slam dunk contest each year. When people think of the Lakers, they think of Kobe and he contributed to most of the Laker’s ticket sales throughout the past 20 years. Bryant’s success on and off the court have made him one of the most marketable players of all time and he has earned over $34 million dollars in endorsements from Nike, Adidas, and Mercedes-Benz.
There is no doubt these five characters will go down in the record books as some of the country’s most beloved athlete personalities. All five of them not only excel on the court, but freely share their fun-loving personalities with their fans. These five players exemplify all it means to be a marketable athlete.