Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 1/26/12

The New Orleans Saints’ record setting quarterback Drew Brees, the man who threw for more passing yards this season than any qb in NFL history tops the Bloomberg Businessweek/Horrow Sports Ventures ranking of the most powerful professional athletes in the U.S.

Brees is bigger than life “Breesus” to NOLA, the pride of its recent college football history to Purdue Boilermakers everywhere.

As sports business continues to boom, endorsement contracts increasingly impact players, teams, and the industry. These contracts take into consideration many of the same factors as the Power 100 ranking – performance, name awareness, appeal, influence, brand and overall popularity, among other things.

Social media, for example, played a role in boosting the rankings of such athletes as LeBron James (No. 4) and Shaquille O’Neal (No.7).  The Power 100 rankings are based 50 percent on these on “off-field” measurements, and 50 percent on “on-field” performance using a variety of industry statistics.

This year’s Power 100 rankings also emphasize the importance of team sports, with the NFL dominating the list with 26 players ranked in the top 100. The National Basketball Association came in second with 20, followed by MLB baseball (16), tennis (10), golf (8), NASCAR (6), Olympics (4), soccer (4), hockey (3), boxing/MMA (2), and action sports (1).

The 2012 Power 100

Top 20

Rank Name Sport

1-Drew Brees-Football

2-Aaron Rodgers-Football

3-Tom Brady-Football

4-LeBron James-Basketball

5-Rafael Nadal- Tennis

6-Roger Federer-Tennis

7-Shaquille O’Neal-Basketball

8-Shaun White-Action Sports

9-Novak Djokovic-Tennis

10-Calvin Johnson-Football

11-Luke Donald-Golf

12-Tiger Woods-Golf

13-Kobe Bryant-Basketball

14-Dwight Howard-Basketball

15-Eli Manning-Football

16-Dwyane Wade-Basketball

17-Kevin Durant-Basketball

18-Phil Mickelson-Golf

19-Lee Westwood-Golf

20-Troy Polamalu-Football

 

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

 

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