Marketability in the NBA Part 1: The Players

The NBA season is underway and brands are looking to see if they picked a winner in their roster of endorsers. In Part One of our look at NBA marketability, we put together an E-Score list ranking the NBA’s most marketable players. Next week, we’ll examine the brands and their alignment with endorsers.top10nbamarketable2.PNG

  • The NBA’s most marketable player is Stephen Curry who slightly edges out LeBron James. Though LeBron has a higher Awareness than Curry, our research shows Curry as the most appealing of the two former MVPs with an Appeal of 57% versus LeBron’s 41%.
  • Of the top five most marketable players, three of them (LeBron James, Dirk Nowitzki, and Kevin Durant) are signed with Nike.
  • Two of the players on the top 10 list are not signed with any of the major sports brands. Dwayne Wade is with Li-Ning and Klay Thompson has a deal with Anta until 2026.

Young Guys Coming Up

It’s no question having a guy like LeBron James on your list of endorsers will consistently keep a brand relevant. The key, however, is trying to figure out who the next Jordan or LeBron will be. We put together a list of the NBA’s most marketable up-and-comers to find who among them is likely to make the leap into super stardom.


  • Giannis Antetokounmpo a.k.a. The Greek Freak is a prime candidate for his stock to rise with already crazy stats this season, whispers of MVP, and the highest E-Score in the top ten of our up-and-comers list.
  • Lonzo Ball has made plenty of headlines with his decision not to sign with any major sponsor and instead push his own Big Baller Brand. Ball has the lowest Appeal at 29%, possibly due to the hype around his “overexposed” father, Lavar.
  • It’s also noteworthy that three of the top six on our up-and-comers list are rookies, two of whom (Markelle Fultz and De’Aaron Fox) hold the top two spots.

Marketable Attributes

We also took a look at various attributes among NBA players to see how it could influence their marketability. Here are the top five Most Interesting.


  • One of the most active NBA stars on social media tops the Most Interesting In his young NBA career, Joel Embiid is known more for what he tweets than what he does on the court.
  • Russell Westbrook has had an interesting year, after splitting with his former running mate, Kevin Durant. Since, he won the league MVP award, signed with Jordan Brand and also inked the largest total contract in NBA history.

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One comment

  1. […] Last week we looked at some of the NBA’s most marketable players. This week, in the second of our two-part series, we look at the sportswear brands NBA players endorse and how these brands use their endorsements to create an image. With the NBA’s growing popularity, especially among younger fans, brands are looking to find the right superstar to sport their latest sneakers. […]

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