NEW YORK: Michael Jordan and Mia Hamm are the top choices as
athlete spokespeople for the sports PR and marketing executives surveyed
by Alan Taylor Communications (ATC).
The 110 survey respondents were asked which male and female athlete
would best represent a company launching a new product or service in
2002. Jordan, who returned to the NBA with the Washington Wizards this
season, received 17% of the spokesman vote, edging out golfer Tiger
Woods (16%) and New York Yankee Derek Jeter (13%). Hamm, the most
honored female soccer player ever, won 22% of the vote for spokeswoman,
topping tennis stars Anna Kournikova (17%) and Venus Williams (11%).
Alan Taylor, CEO of ATC, said he was surprised that Hamm led the list of
"It proves that women's soccer has reached the mainstream," said
"I thought tennis or maybe golf would have a winner on top. But I guess
everyone sees Anna Kournikova as the blonde bombshell, but people see
Mia as the corporate spokesperson."
Taylor also noted the lack of older athletes, such as Arnold Palmer and
Billie Jean King.
"The traditional old-timers like Chris Evert would rank number one every
year," said Taylor. "Now, today's athletes, the younger stars, are
However, Craig Tartasky, sports SVP and executive director at EJ Krause
& Associates, noted that familiar names, such as Jordan and Woods,
continue to top spokesperson wish lists.
"They are the most recognizable stars in the business," said
"In addition, all of these athletes presently work with other companies,
so they are experienced in the corporate environment."