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White ranks second on Power 100 list

1/28/2011
Michael Buckner/Getty Images

Shaun White is a more powerful athlete than LeBron James, Lance Armstrong, Tom Brady, Roger Federer, Kobe Bryant, Lindsey Vonn, Sidney Crosby and Derek Jeter, according to the Bloomberg Power 100 ranking of the most marketable athletes in sports. The list was made public this morning.

Only Peyton Manning was ranked ahead of the two-time Olympic gold medalist White, who rose from No. 52 to No. 2 in the magazine's annual rankings, by far the biggest jump. The list was created by an Atlanta-based sports marketing firm, CSE, using math-based analytics that combine on-field performance as well as nationwide surveys.

"We were honestly quite surprised" that White landed in second, David Newman, VP of analytics at CSE, said in a phone interview. "Until we hit the enter button, we don't know what the list is going to look like."

"Power is a unique term," Newman added, "but it's really just the completeness of an athlete. It's their ability to perform on the field and serve as a role model off it. Overall, it relates to their total endorsement potential."

To compile the rankings, Newman and his team used competition results (like halfpipe victories) and individual statistics (like touchdown passes) to pare down an initial list of more than 4,000 athletes, which included action-sports stars such as Travis Pastrana, Anthony Napolitan, Gretchen Bleiler and Ryan Sheckler, who made the Power 100 last year. After an initial cut left Newman with 260 athletes, he added survey data and endorsement income to get the final 100. White was the only action-sports representative.

Athletes were primarily compared with their peers in their sport -- i.e. White's contest wins weren't pitted against Federer's serve percentage. While White received no extra points for winning Olympic gold, he shined in the surveys, which measured four factors: awareness ("Do you recognize this person's picture and do you know their name?"), appeal ("Do you like this person?"), trust ("Would you buy this product if this guy was endorsing it?") and influence ("Are you swayed by what he says?").

Coming off his Olympic gold medal, White was recognized by 51 percent of people surveyed, compared to just 21 percent in 2009. (Tiger Woods led the way at 77 percent.)

White's "appeal" rose from 43 percent to 64 percent (Drew Brees was tops at 71 percent), and his "trust" rating came in at 13 percent (up from two percent; Phil Mickelson topped the list at 27 percent). White also jumped to 26 percent in "influence," up from 16 percent in 2009.

In essence, White's halfpipe riding helped him become a household name who's better liked, a more trusted product salesman and able to change more people's minds with what he says.

Vonn, the only other skier or snowboarder on the list, debuted at No. 13 thanks in part to 70 percent of Americans' liking her, even if only 21 percent recognize her.

Woods, meanwhile, dropped to No. 3 despite making an estimated $70 million in endorsements last year. Apparently fewer people like him now.

The full list:

1 Manning, Peyton

2 White, Shaun
3 Woods, Tiger

4 Mickelson, Phil

5 Brady, Tom

6 O'Neal, Shaquille

7 Brees, Drew

8 Armstrong, Lance

9 Pujols, Albert

10 Ohno, Apolo Anton

11 James, LeBron

12 Phelps, Michael

13 Vonn, Lindsey

14 Bryant, Kobe

15 Federer, Roger

16 Nadal, Rafael

17 Manning, Eli

18 Williams, Serena
19 Beckham, David

20 Wade, Dwyane

21 Westwood, Lee

22 Foster, Arian

23 Johnson, Jimmie

24 Pacquiao, Manny

25 Durant, Kevin

26 Jeter, Derek

27 Howard, Dwight

28 Furyk, Jim

29 Johnson, Chris

30 Halladay, Roy

31 Crosby, Sidney

32 Williams, Venus

33 Peterson, Adrian

34 Favre, Brett

35 Rodgers, Aaron

36 Jennings, Greg

37 Rivers, Philip

38 White, Roddy

39 Gordon, Jeff

40 Donovan, Landon

41 Hamilton, Josh

42 Earnhardt Jr., Dale

43 Fitzgerald, Larry

44 Cabrera, Miguel

45 Polamalu, Troy

46 McNabb, Donovan

47 Garnett, Kevin

48 Anthony, Carmelo

49 Lewis, Ray

50 Johnson, Calvin

51 Nash, Steve

52 Wainwright, Adam

53 Willis, Patrick

54 Cano, Robinson

55 Ellis, Monta

56 Lester, Jon

57 Votto, Joey

58 Stoudemire, Amare

59 Stricker, Steve

60 Gasol, Pau
61 Turner, Michael

62 Stewart, Tony

63 Johnson, Andre

64 Clijsters, Kim

65 Duncan, Tim

66 Nowitzki, Dirk

67 Howard, Ryan

68 Tomlinson, LaDainian

69 Teixeira, Mark

70 Braun, Ryan

71 Wayne, Reggie

72 Hamlin, Denny

73 Longoria, Evan

74 Charles, Jamaal

75 Ortiz, David

76 Ovechkin, Alex

77 Gonzalez, Carlos

78 Paul, Chris

79 Tulowitzki, Troy

80 Pierce, Paul

81 Rodriguez, Alex

82 Lysacek, Evan

83 Sharapova, Maria

84 Hernandez, Felix

85 Ryan, Matt

86 Stamkos, Steven

87 Donald, Luke

88 Harvick, Kevin

89 Mauer, Joe

90 Schaub, Matt

91 Wright, David

92 Jones-Drew, Maurice

93 Els, Ernie

94 Lincecum, Tim

95 Sabathia, CC

96 Martin, Mark

97 Harrison, James

98 Rondo, Rajon

99 Rose, Derrick

100 Holliday, Matt