April 25 2012
Trust and influence: New bedfellows - A look at Forbes' list of most influential athletes for 2012
In her newest blog post, Chris Syme (cksyme.org
), CoSIDA's New Media/Technology Committee chair, writes about who is on Forbes' annual list of most influential athletes
(and why) and who got dropped this year. It is a look at influence, reputation and public trust.
See the originial post HERE
. Follow Syme on Twitter
In 1993, Charles Barkley did a commercial for Nike declaring, “Just because I dunk a basketball doesn’t mean I should raise your kids.” Barkley was the perfect embodiment of the bad boy sports hero our culture has been enamored with for years. But it seems the tide is turning. In an age where the three gold coins have been wealth, good looks, and athletic ability, a new attribute is sneaking its way up the charts: trust. People are drawn to people they can trust.
Now we have lists of the world’s most trusted companies, the brands with the best reputation, and indexes of corporate social responsibility. In sports, fans like winners. But it isn’t just wins and losses anymore. Today’s sports heroes have a grip on that allusive commodity: public trust. This is best witnessed by the recent Forbe’s annual list of America’s most influential athletes. It’s not so much who’s on it, but who isn’t.
NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson (right) repeats at the top. Forbes used Nielsen and E-Poll to do the survey that measured, “their likeability and whether they are considered influential to marketers.”
In other words, would you buy a product on this person’s recommendation? Six of the top ten this year are NFL quarterbacks. Here’s the list in order: Jimmie Johnson (NASCAR), Tim Tebow (NFL), Peyton Manning (NFL), Manny Pacquiao (who doesn’t like a boxer who also fights for his people in politics?), Tom Brady (NFL), Aaron Rodgers (NFL), Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (NASCAR), Drew Brees (NFL), Eli Manning (NFL), and Jeremy Lin (NBA).
What tells more about how we measure influence is who got dropped from the list this year: Michael Phelps and LeBron James. Scandal or betrayal anyone? How important is reputation to the public? More importantly, how critical is it to be “filling the well” with goodwill and behaving yourself? Just ask Tiger Woods. We take building a reputation for granted, but rebuilding one is arduous.