The Faces of the NBA: Top Players and Endorsers

The NBA is off to one of the hottest starts in recent memory and brands are looking to bet on the right endorser. The NBA is becoming one of the most marketable leagues in all of sports, and using E-Score® Celebrity, we have compiled a list ranking this year’s most marketable NBA players.

  • Once again, Stephen Curry tops the list with an E-Score of 93 – driven by the combination of his high Awareness (37%) and Appeal (56%). His team, the Golden State Warriors, is the only NBA franchise with multiple players in the top 10.
  • Despite moving to one of the league’s biggest markets in Los Angeles, LeBron James comes in at fourth (down two spots from 2017), likely due to a dip in his Appeal, which often happens after changing teams.
  • With a combined 35 seasons in the NBA. Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki hold the second and third places, respectively. Both are entering what is presumably their final season yet continue to be among the league’s most enduring stars.

Players with the Most Marketable Attributes

To find the best endorsement fit, brands look to E-Score Celebrity’s ratings of 40-plus personal attributes for each player. Here are the top NBA stars across some of the most desirable attributes:

  • Russell Westbrook, who has been linked to fashion brands such as True Religion, leads all NBA athletes in the attributes Stylish and Interesting making him a unique candidate for brands looking for a trendy endorser.
  • LeBron James made headlines this year opening his groundbreaking public school, I Promise, which likely contributed to him having the top Influential score among NBA players, and led one non-fan to say, “Dislike (LeBron) on court. Can appreciate his work off the court.”
  • Although we are a few years removed from “Linsanity,” Jeremy Lin continues to resonate as he lands in the top five in Down To Earth, Influential and Interesting.

Next Generation Stars

The competition among brands to discover up-and-coming talent is greater than ever, as they find creative ways to sign athletes as early as possibleE-Score Celebrity provides an advance look at some of today’s top up-and-comers and their key marketable attributes ranked among NBA fans.upandcomers-C

  • With a number of ads featuring a comedic twist, Philadelphia’s big man, Joel Embiid, has one of the highest Funny scores (36) in the NBA, over five times the league average (7).
  • Last season’s Rookie of the Year runner-up, Donovan Mitchell, soars above other up-and-comers in Down To Earth with a score of 20, 11 points higher than the NBA average.
  • Despite low Awareness, this season’s top draft pick and recent Puma endorser, DeAndre Ayton, shows promising marketability with above average scores in Interesting (32) and Intriguing (24). For an inside look at brands who endorse NBA athletes, view one of our previous blog posts here.


Feel free to utilize these infographics in your social shares or other uses. To download, simply click the images and right-click, or pull the full sized images.

Leave a Reply