Perhaps when Dwyane Wade and LeBron James agreed to take a pay cut to work together, they figured they'd more than make up for that salary loss in endorsements. Maybe not according to a new list of the NBA's most marketable players. Both have plummeted out of the top ten. The new number one: Dirk Nowitzki, of course.
Neilsen and E-Score track something they term a player's "N-score." As they explain it, "The N-Score measures name and image awareness, appeal and personality attributes such as sincerity, approachability, experience and influence, both at the U.S. national and local levels."
LeBron saw his N-score plummet from 131 to 26, while Wade saw his decline from 117 to 34. Nowitzki tops the league with an N-score of 132.
Here's the full top ten, which oddly is full of NBA oldies:
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"The extreme N-Score declines of LeBron and Dwyane Wade demonstrate that endorsement potential is about much more than consumer awareness," said Stephen Master, VP, Nielsen Sports. "From endorsement superstars to being knocked off the top ten list, they've learned the hard way the importance of public perception and appeal."
Yeah, whatever. If Kobe Bryant can bounce back from a rape trial, Wade and James can withstand a bunch of pissy Ohioans in the long run.