We bring to you the list of the most popular NBA players as of 2023.
In the realm of film appearances and apparel sponsorships, it’s evident that the promotional capacity of NBA stars is incredibly vast.
However, as numerous athletes now boast a collection of endorsements, the question arises: which players rank highest in marketability based on their social media presence, audience engagement, and overall appeal?
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Analyzing 20 different factors across three core metrics, a new report from The Action Network ranks the top 20 most marketable players in the NBA, with LeBron James taking the crown as the NBA’s most marketable player scoring 14.18 on the index.
- The Action Network reveals the NBA’s most popular and influential NBA players.
- LeBron James has the highest ‘NBA Influence Score,’ making him the most marketable active player in the league.
- Steph Curry and Derrick Rose round out the top three, trailing comfortably behind James.
In the realm of film appearances and clothing promotions, it’s evident that the advertising potential of NBA stars is exceptionally high.
Even with some of the world’s most profitable sports contracts, NBA players have the ability to significantly boost their yearly income through external endorsement opportunities.
The emergence of social media platforms has dramatically enhanced the prominence and sway of contemporary NBA stars. Consequently, these athletes are frequently pursued by brands to participate in multi-million dollar sponsorships, leveraging their extensive reach and interaction within fiercely competitive markets. So, which NBA players offer companies the highest return on investment?
Employing social listening tools such as HypeAuditor and Google Trends, The Action Network has compiled a list of the 20 most marketable NBA athletes.
By examining each player’s social, audience, and appeal performance, an ‘NBA Influence Score index was devised to disclose the athlete with the most extensive reach, engagement, and consumer appeal.
The 20 Most Marketable Players In the NBA
Taking the No. 1 spot is NBA legend LeBron James. The multi-award-winning star claims the crown for both social and likeability performance, leaving him with an overall index score of 14.18 out of 20.
For a man who has won four NBA Finals and four league MVP awards, is it really a surprise that LeBron tops the list?
LeBron is still regarded as one of the best on the court, so he’s also likely to be one of the most expensive endorsement targets off of it.
James was named the fifth-highest-paid athlete of 2021 with off-court earnings ($65M) more than doubling his contract ($31.5M)1.
It stands to reason that any potential sponsorship offer would have to break the bank to lockdown King James.
Ranked as the second-most marketable player in the NBA is Steph Curry, with an overall index score of 10.67 out of 20.
Thanks in part to his record-breaking sponsorship deals with Under Armour, Callaway, and CarMax, the 33-year-old was deemed the 11th-highest-paid athlete in the world and had the eighth-highest off-court earnings ($40M)1 in 2021.
He is closely followed by Derrick Rose (9.29), Devin Booker (8.96), and Luka Doncic (8.83), who round out the top five.
Below is the complete list of the top 20 most marketable NBA stars:
|Rank||Full Name||Team||NBA Influence Score|
|1||LeBron James||Los Angeles Lakers||14.18|
|2||Steph Curry||Golden State Warriors||10.67|
|3||Derrick Rose||New York Knicks||9.29|
|4||Devin Booker||Phoenix Suns||8.96|
|5||Luka Doncic||Dallas Mavericks||8.83|
|6||Giannis Antetokounmpo||Milwaukee Bucks||8.59|
|7||Kevin Durant||Brooklyn Nets||8.55|
|8||Kyrie Irving||Brooklyn Nets||8.17|
|9||LaMelo Ball||Charlotte Hornets||8.04|
|10||Russell Westbrook||Los Angeles Lakers||7.78|
|11||Ja Morant||Memphis Grizzlies||7.67|
|12||James Harden||Brooklyn Nets||7.56|
|13||Anthony Davis||Los Angeles Lakers||7.52|
|14||Damian Lillard||Portland Trail Blazers||7.52|
|15||Chris Paul||Phoenix Suns||7.51|
|16||Klay Thompson||Golden State Warriors||7.47|
|17||Jayson Tatum||Boston Celtics||7.40|
|18||Ben Simmons||Philadelphia 76ers||7.32|
|19||Zach LaVine||Chicago Bulls||7.31|
|20||Zion Williamson||New Orleans Pelicans||7.18|
Full information can be found here: https://www.actionnetwork.com/nba/most-marketable-popular-nba-players
The NBA Influence Score Index Methodology
The Action Network’s NBA Influence Score Index was created by integrating a variety of metrics from three categories of measurement for each player. Each metric used was weighted with a score of one point.
A player’s social performance was tracked using HypeAuditor, an influencer analytics tool.
The Action Network collected social data for each player beginning December 2021 in the following metrics: Number of posts, social followers, engagement rate, audience quality authentic engagement per post, real follower percentage, influencers percentage, suspicious followers percentage, audience quality score, audience reachability percentage, average likes per post, average comments per post, and yearly social growth.
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Audience performance was measured by analyzing certain demographic and economic factors.
Interest and Likability Performance
Interest and likability for each player were measured with Ahrefs keyword explorer.
This tool enabled The Action Network to identify which NBA stars get the most monthly Google searches.
Combined with Ahrefs, Linkfluence was also utilized to gauge player sentiment data as well as which star is currently generating the most ‘buzz’ online.
Once all of the data was pulled, the points from each category were summed up and ranked for each player on a scale from 0-20 with 20 being the highest possible score.
About The Action Network
Launched in October 2017, The Action Network provides premium sports gaming analysis, real-time odds, and in-depth data and tools, via its website and app.
Serving millions of users across its web and app platforms, as well as its social handles, Action has been featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, CNBC, ESPN, Fox Sports, Sports Business Journal, and dozens of other media outlets as the leading source for news, information, and primary data in sports gaming.