Originally posted on Sports Business Digest  |  Last updated 10/9/12

Maybe Cortland Finnegan is becoming the hated player we hate to love?

The St. Louis Rams cornerback has earned to top spot on Brand Affinity Technologies' (BAT) monthly ranking of 'Rising Sports Stars'. The monthly ranking list examines the players who have had the most significant leap in popularity during the previous month, and hopefully acts as a tool that marketers can use to pick their next endorsement targets.

Finnegan, who came to the Rams from the Tennessee Titans this season, has notoriously been known as what some would call a 'bad boy', others, a borderline dirty player. All of that aside, Finnegan currently has three interceptions, a touchdown, and a sack, setting him up for arguably his best season as a pro.

“This month’s list highlights some of the fastest and most aggressive players on the field today, which helps increase their individual brand value within their respective industries,” said Ryan Steelberg, CEO of Brand Affinity Technologies. “This list is incredibly valuable for our advertisers looking to find athletes showcasing elite athleticism and a strong fan following.”

Finnegan is followed on the list by 49ers Tight End Vernon Davis, Vikings Wide Receiver Percy Harvin, Orioles reliever Brian Matusz, and Cowboys Wide Receiver Kevin Ogletree. The complete list and additional details can be found on the Brand Affinity website. Orioles third baseman Manny Machado was at the top of last month's list.

Brand Affinity calculates daily consumer affinity based on numerous factors including media exposure and in-game performance. They utilize those calculations to provide endorsement platforms and other experiences between consumers, athlete endorsers, and corporate sponsors. You can follow the company on Twitter @BAT

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