MVP’s Lebron James and Stephen Curry celebrating in their respective ways on the court and leading in their accomplishments off the court as well. (Getty Images/Ronald Martinez)
It has happened again for the third consecutive year. Lebron James who plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers has taken the top spot of the Horrow Sports/MVPindex Power 100, a ranking that evaluates an athlete’s brand and marketability.
The NBA dominated the rankings with 24 players on the list, including Stephen Curry climbing 43 spots in one year to be listed in the number two spot. I guess after winning season MVP and an NBA championship with the Golden State Warriors in 2015 and helping them to have a record breaking season in 2016 moves you up pretty quick to the top of the list.
“Steph Curry made the biggest jump on and off the court of any athlete we’ve seen, frankly in any statistical analysis,” said Rick Horrow, owner of Horrow Sports Ventures.
So what does this exactly mean for the players who have the honor to be part of this list? Well for starters, their brands take a major boost along with their sponsorship money opportunities.
Getting added to this list is pretty much akin to getting two thumbs up from critics in movie land, but to executives of any brand looking to align themselves with a top shelf athlete who can be a difference maker for their brand.
The list was created in 2009 with MVPIndex getting involved in 2015 to assist with the social media component. On-field results comprise 50 percent of athletes power ranking while the other half is based on off-field attributes: primarily social media presence (including reach, engagement, and conversation).
The list focuses on long-established sports and the U.S. market specifically with 44 of the 100 spots taken by NFL and NBA players.
Boxers and mixed martial arts fighters are included in the list while soccer players are omitted as Horrow said it is impossible to get a fair on-field ranking for them because of overlapping international federations and national teams.
Here is a short list of other notable athlete’s that made the cut:
- Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane, was the best-ranked National Hockey League player at number six despite a difficult year that saw him under investigation by police on rape charges that were later dropped.
- NFL players occupied the next two spots with Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Antonio Brown at number seven followed by Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.
- Former world number on golfer Rory McIlroy and James Harden of the NBA’s Houston Rockets closed out the top 10.
- Tiger Woods, once a fixture in the top 10, failed to make the list after falling steadily from second place two years ago to 76th last year.
- Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant, who will retire at the end of the current NBA season, also slid further down the list as he dropped to 84th place compared to 36th place last year.
The most noticeable trend on the latest list was a strong move by the NBA into the top 10 combined by a drop-off in NFL players considering quarterbacks had occupied five of the top 11 spots in last year’s list. For the complete list visit (http://horrowsports.ventures/power-100/)