Making lists to hate on lists

The MSM has proclaimed the 10 Most Marketable Players in the NBA and fellow blog You Been Blinded isn't impressed. And on the one hand, I'm on YBB's side. First of all, making lists totally belongs to bloggers; if the MSM takes that away from us, what are we left with? Linking to YouTube?

But second, I'm strongly opposed to lists that proclaim to be authorative, without offering up some clues to a methodology. Feel my righteous indignation, MSNBC! Sure, anybody can make a list of his favorite five Mexican restaurants; if you're purporting to tell me the best five Mexian restaurants, though, you'd better provide some explanation. Which this MSM writer does not do. (And who is this "David Sweet" character, anyway? Does Darren Rovell know someone's trying to steal his gig?)

That said.

I actually think it's a pretty good list, from #1 (King James) to #10 (Eduardo Najera)...the writer may have no consistent "marketability" formula, but I buy the anecdotal evidence he's collected. Beyond his domestic popularity and snazzy new commercials, Dwyane Wade seems assured of #2 with his overseas reach factored into the mix. Sixth-ranked Yao and #9 Yi sound like safe bets after reading about the building audience in China. And sure, a coach today would pick #5 Kobe over #4 Shaq to take the last shot...but if you were selecting the lovable center of an ad campaign, designed to reach middle America, wouldn't you take the popular Big Aristotle over the slippery Mamba?

YBB throws out a few potential omissions like Steve Nash, Gilbert Arenas, and Allen Iverson...but who would you drop from the list in their place? Nash is an intriguing individual, but not exactly a Taurus pitchman; I'm a strong believer that perceptions of Gilbert's popularity are exaggerated thanks to the blogosphere; and AI's marketability potential/problems are well-documented.

Certainly, the MSM's list doesn't match with the top jersey sales in the NBA...but it shouldn't, because jersey sales don't equal marketability. Rather, the only metric measured by jersey sales is the number of folks who believe that for fashion/luck/team support, plopping $70 down to wear one guy's name on their back is a good investment. Sure, one could infer some correlation with being marketable, but the rationale behind buying a jersey is a lot different than buying a sports drink or a pair of pants.

That said, shouldn't the baseline for marketability be whether a player has his own breakfast cereal? Talk about commanding mindshare--if I had to stare at a box of Zo's O's every morning, I'd be intimidated into buying whatever Zo ordered me to.

(YBB also does the world a favor by naming those unloved by the Mad Men. But Oleksey Pecherov among the least marketable players in the NBA?? Clearly YBB haven't seen his star-making performance. Keep those fingers crossed--Wiz fans may have a viable Big Gheorghe II. And those smells-like-cabbage-commercials can rake in serious green.)


posted by Doctor Dribbles @ 04:50,


At November 9, 2007 at 10:52 AM, Blogger Jarrett Carter said...

1. You are dead on about Pecherov. His unintentional level of self-deprecation makes him prime for a SportsCenter commercial.

2. If only my Research Methods class was as intriguing as this list, I wouldn't be flunking the course right now.

At November 9, 2007 at 2:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shameful that a Wizards fan doesn't think Gilbert's most marketable!


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