On Wednesday night, Bloomberg BusinessWeek and Horrow Sports Ventures unveiled their annual Power 100, which ranks athletes on an analytical formula that weighs on field performance as well as other factors in popularity off the field, from endorsements to social media and other factors.
It is an attempt to show which athletes give the most return-on-investment, commonly known as “ROI,” both in the huddle or on the diamond or in the ring. It also indicates which athletes business partners may want to join with.
A look at the list shows easily that the NFL (which has the most players overall on the list with 26), continues to be the biggest delivered of return. The top three, Drew Brees of New Orleans, Aaron Rodgers of Green Bay and Tom Brady of New England, have all scored well on the field with Super Bowl rings, as well as off the field with lucrative endorsement deals.
However what is even more interesting is to go through the rest of the list to find athletes who combine on-field and off-field success and play in a major market, especially one in the corridor between Philadelphia and New York. Amare Stoudamire is at 58. Derek Jeter? 81. Carmelo Anthony? 76. David Wright? Not on the list. Nor are Deron Williams or Mark Sanchez or Michael Vick or Alex Rodriguez.
As a matter of fact, outside of Kobe Bryant at 14, the highest ranking athlete of power on the list from a major market is the Giants' Eli Manning, who came in at 15. With the exception of Manning and Newark born Shaquille O'Neal (number eight, but based more on his off-court persona than his final year playing in Boston) the Phillies Roy Halladay at 42 and Rutgers product Ray Rice (43) are the only area ties in the top 50.
What does this say about our area athletes? One it says that the bright lights of Broadway may produce big dollars but do not always guarantee overall brand success. Secondly, it may also mean that a long-held truth may actually be true: the pressure to win in a market like New York or even Philadelphia may really be too high. You can pull in the brand dollars, but winning a title with all the big market distractions can actually be even tougher in today's 24/7 all-access world, where you have to be as much a media star as a star athlete.