Those results reflect the perceptions of U.S. consumers who were asked to rank superstar sports product endorsers in terms of how well they recognized them as well as how likely a particular celebrity's appearance in an ad was likely to influence an individual consumer's feelings about a specific product.
The Advertising Age and Knowledge Networks survey was based on the Burns Sports & Celebrities list of the top 10 sports endorsers. Burns' annual ratings reflect the feelings of the marketing professionals who decide which sports celebrity gets hired for product endorsements and for how much.
The Ad Age/Knowledge Networks inquiry was designed to probe the other side of that equation -- the consumers at whom sports star advertisements are aimed. Consumers were asked, How effective are individual celebrities as product endorsers and do they really cause you to take action to purchase a product?
Woods vs. Jordan
The No. 1 endorser in terms of popularity with advertisers and income earned annually is Tiger Woods. But while the consumer survey found that 5% of respondents said they would be much more likely to purchase a product Mr. Woods endorsed, 10% said the same thing about Michael Jordan -- making Mr. Jordan the strongest sports endorser as perceived by the consuming public.
The two lowest-ranked of the top 10 in terms of general public recognition were basketball player LeBron James, who was rated "Don't know this person" by 34% of respondents, and extreme skateboarder Tony Hawk, whom 29% said they didn't know.
Use the link above to download the full chart of survey results in .pdf format.