CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Baseball's steroid controversy has caused the marketability of several top stars to plummet, according to a survey of sports marketing experts by the SportsBusiness Daily.
While New York Yankees teammates Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez finished 1-2 in the survey of 81 marketing executives, sponsorship consultants and journalists, Barry Bonds and Jason Giambi -- both linked to the steroid scandal in the BALCO case -- dropped after being ranked among the top 10 in a similar survey in 2003.
Bonds, the San Francisco Giants slugger closing in on Babe Ruth's and Hank Aaron's home run totals, dropped from seventh two years ago to 11th in the current survey. Giambi, the Yankees' designated hitter, did not receive a vote.
Both were the subject of leaked grand jury testimony this winter in the BALCO case. Giambi reportedly acknowledged using human growth hormone and steroids while Bonds allegedly testified he used a clear substance and a cream given to him by his trainer, not knowing they were steroids. Prosecutors believe they contained steroids.
Sammy Sosa's marketability dropped to 22nd after he was ranked third two years ago. Sosa was traded from the Chicago Cubs to the Baltimore Orioles in the offseason and was called to testify before a congressional panel investigating steroid use in baseball.
In the survey, to be published Monday by Charlotte-based SportsBusiness Daily, Curt Schilling finished third, followed by Roger Clemens, Albert Pujols, Ichiro Suzuki, Carlos Beltran, Johnny Damon, Randy Johnson and David Ortiz.