Playing for an NFL team that is based in the Midwest and/or generating a lot of its own internet buzz are two major indicators of a quarterback’s marketability, according to September 2011 findings from The Nielsen Company. Nielsen’s 2011 national N-score ratings of quarterbacks (which measure their marketability on a national scale) show that many of the quarterbacks in the top 10 play for a team with one or both of these characteristics.
5 of Top 10 QBs Play in Midwest
The Midwest has always been known as a hotbed of football interest, and the N-score ratings attest to this fact. Quarterbacks who play or most recently played (in the case of retired Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre) for a team based in a Midwestern city make up five of the top 10 ranked, including number one, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning.
In addition to Manning and sixth-ranked Favre, the list also includes number five Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, number eight Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow and number 10 St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford.. The South follows with three quarterbacks: number two New Orleans Saint Drew Brees, number nine Atlanta Falcon Matt Ryan, and number 10 Tennessee Titan Matt Hasselback (tie).
Two Northeastern quarterbacks (number four New England Patriot Tom Brady and number seven New York Giant Eli Manning), as well as one Mid-Atlantic quarterback (number three Washington Redskin Donovan McNabb) also make the list.
It is worth noting that Peyton Manning’s N-score of 262 is almost 100 points higher than the 166 points of his nearest competitor, Brees.
Team Buzz Can Help
Half of the top 10 quarterbacks by N-score were on the top 10 teams with the most buzz – Eli Manning, Favre, Brady, Brees and Rodgers. However, there are a number of players and teams where no connection appears. For example, Dallas Cowboys quarterbackTony Romo garnered slightly higher than the median quarterback buzz (1.8%) while the Dallas Cowboys were one of the most buzzed about teams with 5.8% of all online buzz mentions.
High Awareness and Buzz Can Help, Hurt
High awareness of a player, as captured through the N-score, can also be indicative of a player’s buzz. For players like the Eagles’ Michael Vick and the Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger, their awareness and buzz are both high, yet their N-score, which takes into account traits such as likeability, down-to-earth and talented, reflects negative public reaction to their activity off the field (13 and 16, respectively). Besides Hasselbeck, all of the top 10 quarterbacks by N-score received high online buzz.
Harris: Jeter America’s Favorite Athlete
New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter is ranked the #1 sports star in the US, up from #3 last year, according to Harris Poll data collected in June 2011. Jeter is followed by Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, who climbs three spots from number five in 2010. Meanwhile, Los Angeles Laker guard Kobe Bryant, who tied as the top US athlete in 2010, fell to number three this year. Other notable year-over-year movers include retired Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan, who climbed from number seven to a third-place tie with Bryant, as well as golfer Tiger Woods, who fell from a number one tie with Bryant to number five.
In addition, the list features four newcomers: St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward, current Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose, and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.