A month-and-a-half ago, only one-third of Americans knew who Dirk Nowitzki was. Now, after winning a title and a Finals MVP, he’s the most marketable star in the NBA. Some things change quickly, my friends.

From The Post Game:

Dirk Nowitzki has taken the crown as the most marketable man in pro basketball. The Mavericks star replaced Shaquille O’Neal, who retired.

Nowitzki, a 10-time NBA All-Star, has an N-Score of 132, a whopping 59 percent higher than Kobe Bryant’s 83.

The N-Score measures name and image awareness, appeal and personality attributes such as sincerity, approachability, experience and influence, both at the U.S. national and local levels.

Other things do not change as quickly.

Despite the Mavericks star’s popularity, without an agent or business manager, the pride of Wurzburg, Germany, doesn’t seem motivated in cashing in on his profit-making potential.

Nowitzki could be leaving a couple of million dollars on the table annually and maybe more, according to branding experts. He’s got a single endorsement deal with Nike.

“I always wanted to be a basketball player. Nothing more. Nothing less,” Nowitzki told Bloomberg. “I have never really considered myself to be a ‘brand.’ Sure there are a few things that I wouldn’t mind endorsing and maybe some day it will work out. For now, I am happy with where I am.”

Aside from the fact that a German who is not a native English speaker is the most marketable basketball player in the NBA, this isn’t surprising considering Dirk is on record as saying that he’s not in to endorsements. He considers it a nuisance more than anything.

Of course, you have to wonder, if the most marketable player in the NBA isn’t concerned with being marketed, is he really marketable? (Our generation’s tree falling in the woods.) Sure, Dirk Nowitzki is more likable than LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, but those guys bring in a lot more money from endorsements than Dirk ever will. Isn’t that the true measure of marketability? You can’t market something that doesn’t want to be marketed. Just ask Jandek.

But whatever, N-scores are N-scores, as no one says. Dirk Nowitzki is now the most likable, marketable man in the NBA. He’s an NBA champion, an MVP and the best European player ever. Other than that, pretty boring.

Comments (9)

  1. Good for him. Its about time he got what he deserves, stardom!!!!

  2. “Sure, Dirk Nowitzki is more likable than LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, but those guys bring in a lot more money from endorsements than Dirk ever will. Isn’t that the true measure of marketability?”

    That doesn’t mean they’re more marketable, that means they are more marketed.

  3. He’s just the most likable pro in sports! Not one of those stupid money-chasing stars that “have to feed their families”… and can’t do it with the millions of dollars they’ve already earned.

  4. I think the bigger issue here is figuring what those “few things that [Dirk wouldn’t mind endorsing” are. Selmer Saxophones, perhaps?

  5. Yo Trey, not trying to smart ass, but he actually has a contract with ING DiBa, maybe some even some others in Germany, too.

  6. Ironically, it is probably his relative disinterest in marketing himself that is a large part of what makes him so popular/marketable.

  7. @ guy from europe : True, but he´s only doing it because they agreed in return to become the main sponsor of the german basketball association (national team as well as youth programs) as a package deal. It´s not really him getting paid, he´s doing it mainly so the basketball association gets funds to improve basketball in germany.

    The guy must make a couple excutives from big brands mad with his attitude ;)

  8. Trey, nice job on name dropping Jandek. Impressive, sly, sleak, and dare I say, symptomatic of the collateral effect of widespread ‘underground’ hipsterism. But sincerely, nice one. Now if we could just bootleg the alternate take of ‘i sit alone and think about dirk.’ Everyone else, be in the know of not being in the know, now!

  9. “But whatever, N-scores are N-scores, as no one says.”

    Why the hell did I crack up at that

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