A-Rod's Marketing Status Takes A 'Hit'

Feb. 18, 2009: Alex Rodrguez faced the media on Feb. 17, told his story and now is getting back to "simply being a baseball player." But his first hit came not on the field in a New York Yankees' uniform but in a survey that shows his trust, appeal and potential status as a celebrity endorser are all down today versus last July. The numbers are from the Davie Brown Index, created by Davie Brown Talent, which maintains a data base on some 2,000 athletes and celebrities. A-Rod's latest numbers show that more people know who he is as opposed to last July - 78.4 today versus 69.7 in July in DBI scoring - but that this increased awareness has come with negative baggage, specifically his admission to using steroids from 2001-03. For potential marketers who use or might want to use Rodriguez as a spokesman, the key DBI numbers are "Trust" (which indicates the level of trust that the consumers place in the celebrity’s words and image), which dropped from 47.4 in July to 41.4 today; and "Endorsement" (the degree to which consumers identify the celebrity as being an effective product spokesperson), which fell from 52.7 in July to 45.3 in the new survey. By comparison, Cal Ripken Jr.'s DBI "Endorsement" number is 77 and Derek Jeter, A-Rod's teammate, is at 68.3. Michael Phelps suffered a similar fate in a recent DBI survey, where his overall appeal and endorsement numbers fell between the 2008 Summer Olympics and the release of a photo showing him holding a bong.

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