SBD/July 15, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Derek Jeter, Serena Williams Named America's Favorite Athletes By Harris Interactive

Yankees SS Derek Jeter for the first time has been deemed America's favorite male athlete while tennis player Serena Williams tops the list of favorite female athletes for the third straight year, according to the Harris Poll's annual survey. Harris Interactive polled 2,163 adults from June 13-20 for their favorite athletes. Jeter has been on the list since '04, but never topped the list. Tiger Woods had been the most popular athlete since '06, but fell to fifth this year. Steelers WR Hines Ward, following his win during season 12 of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars," makes his first appearance on the list. The poll was conducted prior to Ward's DUI arrest on July 9. Notably falling off the list is Heat F LeBron James, who ranked sixth last year. Meanwhile, Williams is again followed by her sister Venus and driver Danica Patrick (Harris Interactive).

RANK
MALE ATHLETE
LAST YEAR
1)
Yankees SS Derek Jeter
3
2)
Colts QB Peyton Manning
5
3)
Lakers G Kobe Bryant
1t
4)
Pro Basketball HOFer Michael Jordan
7
5)
Golfer Tiger Woods
1t
6)
Patriots QB Tom Brady
8
7)
Cardinals 1B Albert Pujols
N/A
8)
Steelers WR Hines Ward
N/A
9)
Bulls G Derrick Rose
N/A
10)
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers
N/A
RANK
FEMALE ATHLETE
LAST YEAR
1)
Tennis player Serena Williams
1
2)
Tennis player Venus Williams
2
3)
Driver Danica Patrick
3
4)
Tennis player Maria Sharapova
5
5)
Former soccer player Mia Hamm
4
6)
Former tennis player Anna Kournikova
6
7)
Former tennis player Martina Navratilova
10t
8)
WNBA Storm G Sue Bird
N/A
9)
Volleyball player Kerri Walsh
N/A
10)
Golfer Michelle Wie
N/A


JUNIOR PARTNER
: SCENEDAILY.com's Bob Pockrass noted Patrick is "doing much better than her JR Motorsports boss in popularity" in the poll. Dale Earnhardt Jr. ranked 10th in the '10 popularity list, but NASCAR's "most popular driver ... dropped out of the top 10 this year" (SCENEDAILY.com, 7/14). 

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