SBJ/June 12 - 18, 2006/Marketingsponsorship

Old pros, led by Jordan, still top Sports QScores leaderboard

Three years after what we believe is his final retirement, Michael Jordan continues to dominate Sports QScores. The latest results are out and Jordan again leads a group dominated by athletes that are no longer active with a positive QScore of 50. Tiger Woods is again the top active athlete with a 40; the only other active athlete in the top group is Brett Favre’s 35. While a point difference is not considered statistically significant, Cal Ripken Jr.’s handlers will certainly make hay of the fact that the retired Oriole is a point better than Woods, who himself tied with Nolan Ryan at 40. Magic Johnson and Mike Krzyzewski were not included in last year’s study, since every sports personality is not measured every year. Johnson’s 36 ties him with Terry Bradshaw and puts him just a point behind Joe Montana.

Jordan loves the links, but like most of
the Top 10 he has retired from pro sports.
The survey is mailed annually to 2,000 people identifying themselves as fans of at least one sport from Marketing Evaluations/TvQ, the Manhasset, N.Y., research firm that owns and operates the QScore franchise, on which hundreds of millions of advertising decisions are predicated.

Some other highlights from the latest Sports QScores: Jerome Bettis’ Super Bowl championship helped pump up his score to 32 from 23, while Shaq, the top active NBA player, saw his score increase to 33 from 27. Looking at action sports athletes, Tony Hawk’s score dipped to a 23 from a 32, while Shaun White, not measured last year, scored a 24.

2006 Sports QScore rankings
Rank Player Score
1) Michael Jordan 50
2) Cal Ripken Jr. 41
t3) Nolan Ryan 40
t3) Tiger Woods 40
5) John Madden 39
6) Jerry Rice 38
7) Joe Montana 37
t8) Magic Johnson 36
t8) Terry Bradshaw 36
t10) Brett Favre 35
t10) Mike Krzyzewski 35
Source: QScore
“Olympians always get a bounce in the Olympic year, so you may see those numbers reverse next year,” said Steven Levitt, president of Marketing Evaluations/TvQ.

While QScores measure “likability,” they also quantify consumers’ distaste for particular personalities, or their negative QScores.

Bode Miller’s positive QScore slipped to a 10 from an 18; but his negative went to a 53 from a 26, “about as bad as it gets,” Levitt said. Kobe Bryant’s positive QScore was 14 and his negative was 48 in 2005. This year, Bryant is somewhat rehabilitated with a positive score of 18, and a negative of 44. What of Barry Bonds, likely the most controversial athlete of 2006? He went from a 2005 positive score of 18 and negative score of 34 to a positive score of 16, and negative 46, in the latest survey.

Wayne Gretzky, like last year, received the top score for someone in the NHL with a 31. Serena Williams’ 26 and her sister Venus’ 25 made them the top scoring tennis athletes in the survey. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was the top NASCAR driver with a 29, just one behind retired driver Richard Petty.

GOT A QUARTER? Both the New York Yankees and Mets are coining lots of promotional buzz with dual programs involving imprinted U.S. quarters.

Both promos are sponsored by Dunkin’ Donuts. The Mets program begins this Friday with an in-stadium giveaway of 25,000 New York state quarters imprinted with the 20th anniversary logo of the team’s 1986 World Series championship team. The program extends to Dunkin’ Donuts retail with the offer of six additional quarters bearing separate images of Gary Carter, Lenny Dykstra, Dwight Gooden, Sid Fernandez, Keith Hernandez and Mookie Wilson for $2.99 with any beverage purchase. Team-controlled radio and print ads support.

The Yankees will give away quarters imprinted with Alex Rodriguez’s image to fans at an Aug. 12 game.

Alliance Marketing Partners, Conshohocken, Pa., handless the programs for Dunkin’ Donuts.

COMINGS & GOINGS: If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then maybe Van Wagner Sports should feel doubly flattered. Competitor ANC Sports Enterprises, which is looking to emulate some of the sales and marketing success of competitor Van Wagner (SBJ, June 5, 2006), has hired away two of its employees. David Bialek joins as president of ANC Sports Marketing, along with Bill Vaughn, who is now vice president of sales and marketing … Veteran NFL marketer Kevin Carter is leaving to join the PGA of America. Carter was director of sales and marketing at the NFL, and, over 14 years at the league, he worked in multiple departments. At PGA of America, in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., he will head the sales and marketing services department.

Terry Lefton can be reached at

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