When we created the CHARGE 25 Under 25 index, we thought we knew which athlete brands were bubbling above the rest. Our goal was to put data first and remove subjectivity so this list is supported by facts, not opinion. Many of the names bandied about ended up making the list, but there were also several surprises in name, sport and market.
Here are three times the outcomes caught us by surprise.
Basketball is big
We thought the NBA would go hard to the hoop, but didn’t expect the association to own nearly half of the list. The popularity of the draft, free agency and summer league has extended basketball to a year-round sport in a similar fashion to the NFL in recent years. Eleven names making the top 25 prove that basketball is always on the minds of consumers and media, no matter the time of the year. Three of the 11 haven’t even played a regular season game yet!
Don’t forget about individual sports
Athletes from team sports made up the bulk of the index but there were eight names from individual sports. There were two golfers, two NASCAR drivers, a gymnast, a skateboarder, a motocross rider and a mixed martial arts fighter. It was surprising to not see a tennis player of either gender make the index.
Stars can come from anywhere
There were 18 cities represented on the list, spread from coast to coast and north to south. Nine of the top 10 markets had athletes on the index, but so did the Nos. 22, 23, 25, 27, 39, 40 and 46 markets! It was fascinating to see the No. 2 market Los Angeles have as many athletes represented as the No. 40 market, Jacksonville. Or the No. 22 market Charlotte, have two names on the list and No. 9 Miami have none. Social media, cable channels and streaming have really made it possible for any market to be home to a star.
Some of our suspicions were confirmed by the data but others were debunked. Take a closer look at the surprises above and discover a few of your own at www.charge25under25.com.