With the debate heating up among current and former players in terms of just which USA Basketball “Dream Team” was better, sports pundits have had a field day waxing poetic. Nielsen decided jump onto the court, looking at which team is the marketing dream team off-the-court by using Nielsen and E-Poll’s N-Score rating, which measures endorsement potential.
The results? The 1992 Dream Team—who’s mass of talent helped basketball reach a global audience and ushered in a new era of sneaker and sports drink endorsements— excels in almost every category. The squad, helmed by Michael Jordan, is viewed as more influential, handsome, down-to-earth, and experienced. Their average N-Score is higher than their current court counterparts by a large margin as well—158.7 to 35.5.
“The Olympic Games give athletes a much larger platform, not just to showcase their athletic talent, but the right athlete can generate global recognition and transcend the sporting world” said Stephen Master, Vice President, Sports for Nielsen. “N-Score helps companies make the hard choice of whether an athlete is a good candidate for a strategic marketing partnership.”
That is not to say it’s a runaway victory for Team 1992. The current team has notable marketing potential as well. Key N-Score findings include:
- Americans view the 2012 squad as more exciting—21 percent compared to 14 percent for the ’92 team.
- The 1992 Dream Team has three players with N-Scores over 200. The 2012 team doesn’t have anyone that bests 100.
- Among those who recognize the players, 17 percent consider the 1992 Dream Team as being “down to earth,” while only 10 percent of respondents think the current Dream Team is.
- Michael Jordan owns the highest N-Score with an average of 566.6.
- Today’s team has two highly “Influential” players in both Kevin Durant and LeBron James. The Original Dream Team featured the likes of Michael Jordan and David Robinson as the most “Influential.”
- Females think that Chris Paul is the most handsome player on the 2012 roster, while Center David Robinson is considered the most handsome on the ’92 team. Speaking of looks, the 2012 team is viewed as more handsome by females coming in at 17 percent average.