By: Josh Rubin (University At Buffalo)
What MLB player do you want marketing your company? Is it the good looks and big name of Derek Jeter, the consistent play of Albert Pujols, or the young phenom Stephen Strasburg? Well all 3 made the list of today’s 10 Most Marketable Players in baseball. SportsBusinessDaily.com did some research and got the opinions from corporate, marketing executives, agencies, and baseball media.
1. Derek Jeter – Leading this list is Derek Jeter with 15 endorsements deals. No surprise with this pick, Jeter won his 5th World Series ring last season and in the process he over the top spot in all-time hits for the New York Yankee franchise. The Yankee captain’s sharp looks and grade-A top choice meat in women doesn’t hurt either. Although Jeter is rounding 3rd base in regard to his career, he’s approaching the rare 3,000 hits mark and still has a good 2-3 years left in his hall-of-fame career.
2. Albert Pujols – Standing in at number two is the 3-time MVP Albert “The Machine” Pujols. His consistent play over the years built his brand up, to take the 2nd spot on the list and there are no signs of him slowing down. Pujols is/and has been the best player in baseball for the past 3-4 years and has shown great loyalty to the city of St. Louis unlike some basketball player from Akron… I forget his name. Don’t be surprised if you see the “Machine” at the top of this list after Jeter hangs up his cleats in a few years.
3. Joe Mauer – The young stud catcher from the Minnesota Twins comes in at number 3. Although his numbers are a bit low for the first half of the 2010 season, his marketability has gone way up. Like that basketball player… still cant remember his name, his hometown of Minnesota drafted him out of high school but when it came to the end of his contract he gave the city a hometown discount and is signed for the next 8 years. Mauer gives hope to small-market athletes making the top 3 of this prestigious list.
4. Steven Strasburg – After only 8 starts in his young MLB career, the front-runner for rookie of the year is ranked 4th. At the ripe age of 22, the MLB hasn’t had this much hype for a starter since Mark Prior. Strasburg quickly broke the record for strikeouts in his first 3 games for a rookie. Baseball analysts rave about his 5-pitch repertoire and 100 mph fastball. As long as the young prodigy doesn’t follow in Prior’s footsteps you should see his name in the top 5 for a long time.
5. Ryan Howard – Howard didn’t make his MLB debut until the age of 25 but he didn’t wait long to make his presence felt. Howard has hit at least 40 home runs for the Philadelphia Phillies the last 5 years and helped them to two World Series appearances, while taking home one ring. The 255 lb monster doesn’t let his weight effect his marketability reaching the top 5 on this list.
6. Evan Longoria – If it weren’t for Strasburg, this kid would be the youngest on the list. Longoria has changed the face of the Tampa Bay Rays and makes them a threat against their tough division rivals. Similar to Pujols, the young third-baseman plays in a small market but topped New York Mets star David Wright on this list.
7. Tim “The Freak” Lincecum – The long haired pothead ranks at number 7 on SportsBusinessDaily.com list. At the young age of 26 “The Freak” has accepted 2 Cy Young awards and 3 all-star selections. He also appeared on the cover of MLB 2K9 video game.
8. David Wright – As a Mets fan myself I was waiting for this name. Wright’s gold glove fielding works for ground balls,and beautiful sportscasters such as Erin Andrews of ESPN. Like Jeter, Wrights looks don’t hurt his case for making big bucks on the business side. After a disastrous power season last year Wright came back strong this year leading the National League in RBIs and passing his home run mark from last year in just the first half of 2010.
9. Alex Rodriguez – A-Rod dropped seven spots from the same survey taken in 2005. His image was hurt when he publicly admitted to taking HGH, Rodriguez still bags the big bucks on the marketing side of the game, not to mention his $300 million dollar deal. Besides being one of the best of all time he finally got a ring to put on his finger from the 2009 World Series.
10. Dustin Pedroia/Torii Hunter – Don’t feel bad for these two players. Although taking the last of the top 10 rankings, they both play for solid World Series contending teams and are hometown heroes for Boston and Anaheim respectively.
So for the college students out there who are trying to start a business, here are just a few of the guys you may want on your commercial, or magazine ad. It’s hard enough to be the best at what you do, but these players were able to do it on the field and off the field which is why they bring in the big $$$$.