Magic Johnson Tops ’Athlete Business’ Endorsement Survey

Magic Johnson Tops 'Athlete Business' Endorsement Survey

NEW YORK, April 17 -- NBA legend Magic Johnson was the top rated athlete when it comes to the business side of corporate endorsements in a survey by New York based TSE Sports & Entertainment. The sports marketing agency's first annual "AB" (Athlete Business) ratings are calculated by surveys from 213 marketing executives who use athletes for corporate purposes. Athletes surveyed are scored in ten business related categories. Athletes are given a score of 1 to 10 (low to high) in each specific area. The total score is their overall "AB" rating. Categories include keynote speech, sales incentive, charity event, trade show appearance, client meet and greet as well as five other areas.

The current list shows former athletes, such as NBA legend Magic Johnson, have the greatest appeal to corporate executives over all. Robert Tuchman, the CEO of TSE Sports & Entertainment says, "We survey these athletes on their ability to interact with corporate executives in various business specific categories. This survey gives us a great base of knowledge to rate talent in different types of business settings. It confirms that a lot of former players are better suited for the corporate environment." Still, current NFL star and endorsement king, Peyton Manning clutched the #2 spot.

Other popular athletes that made the list include Michael Jordan (#3), Tiger Woods (#4), and Lance Armstrong (#6). However, top paid athletes like Alex Rodriguez and Maria Sharapova did not make the list. "It takes a certain type of personality to be comfortable with giving a keynote speech or schmoozing with clients in a business setting. When you are interacting with executives it's nice that you can hit a baseball 500 feet, but you also have to be able to hit it off with your audience," says Tuchman.

Top 20 combined "AB" Ratings overall

  • 1) Magic Johnson 99.85
  • 2) Peyton Manning 99.80
  • 3) Michael Jordan 99.75
  • 4) Tiger Woods 99.70
  • 5) Cal Ripken, Jr. 99.50
  • 6) Lance Armstrong 99.45
  • 7) LeBron James 99.25
  • 8) Terry Bradshaw 99.00
  • 9) Shaquille O'Neal 98.75
  • 10) Charles Barkley 98.70
  • 11) Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 98.70
  • 12) Annika Sorenstam 98.65
  • 13) Yogi Berra 98.60
  • 14) Steve Young 98.50
  • 15) Danika Patrick 98.25
  • 16) Rusty Wallace 98.20
  • 17) Derek Jeter 98.15
  • 18) Tiki Barber 98.10
  • 19) Venus Williams 98.05
  • 20) Bill Walton 98.00