Wake-up call: Playoffs could launch John Wall to superstardom

Wake-up call: Playoffs could launch John Wall to superstardom
April 18, 2014, 6:00 am
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This is the time for John Wall to separate himself from the struggling point guard in his first three years to the All-Star and even Slam Dunk champion he became this season. There’s no better place than the playoffs, which begin for the Wizards on Sunday at the Chicago Bulls, and he can raise his Q Score in the process. 

“His awareness overall is kind of low. It didn't surprise me when I saw it,” Henry Schafer, executive vice president of the Q Scores Company, said of Wall overall awareness. “He's not in the biggest market or on the greatest team in the NBA. It's hard to carve out a presence for yourself unless you're somebody like Kevin Durant.”

So what's a Q Score? It's a way of gauging consumer appeal. Companies pay for this data which helps them determine if Wall, for instance, would be worthy of a marketing/advertising campaign. 

When Wall entered the NBA as the No. 1 overall pick in 2010, he had an awareness among sports fans of 36%. That has grown to 43%. But that doesn’t necessarily translate into marketability which requires Wall to be recognized by non-sports fans.

[MORE: Bulls agree: Wizards are 'tough' matchup]

Four years ago, among the broader group, Wall's awareness was at 17%. It now has dipped to 12, three points less than the overall average for athletes. Wall’s strongest appeal is among males from 18 to 34. He has 32% awareness among that segment nationally as of January 2014, which is solid.

“When I see athletes with this kind of growth in awareness but its not being reflected in their appeal it’s just a sign that they haven't been in a winning situation,” Schafer said, “or they're not growing their exposure outside the sport per se which is limiting them becoming more of an iconic figure, someone being able to transcend the world of sports.”

The Wizards, who had never won more than 29 games in a season with Wall, will be making their first playoff appearance in six seasons.

“He's just got to get out there. I would say to get exposure outside the sport like get on some talk shows, late night, daytime talk shows,” Schafer said. “That would be a good way to increase his exposure. If he's got the personality, that's the way to go.”

The NBA players with the highest Q scores are LeBron James, who has commercials and endorsements everywhere with a Q Score of 25; and Tim Duncan, the consummate winner who shuns the public eye. The reason is simple for Duncan, who has been to five NBA Finals with four championship rings. He has never been on a team that has won less than 50 games in a season and he wins when it counts most.

Among all NBA players, Michael Jordan still is the king of kings among Q Scores. He has a 46, almost double James and Duncan.

"He's unbelievable,” Schafer said. “He's the king of icons in the sports world.”

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