By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
March 15, 2013
If 2010 gave us “The Decision,” 2012 brought “The Redemption.” In a year which he claimed his third NBA Most Valuable Player award, his first NBA championship, his second Olympic gold medal, and two multimillion-dollar endorsement deals, the Miami Heat’s LeBron James can add another accolade to his ever-growing list: the top spot in the Bloomberg “Sportfolio” / Horrow Sports Ventures 2013 Power 100.
With his first NBA title and highly criticized “Decision” TV special behind him, the sky is the limit for James. He’s in the midst of arguably the best season of his basketball career, and backed by a blue-chip endorsement portfolio that includes Nike, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Samsung, and State Farm. All this after James’ Nielsen/E-Poll N-Score, a measure of marketability used for this study, reached the lowest point in his NBA life following the Heat’s loss to the Mavericks in the 2011 NBA Finals.
Three former Power 100 No. 1’s follow James in this year’s rankings, with golfer Tiger Woods at No. 2, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning No. 3, and New Orleans Saints quarterback No. 4. Tennis star Roger Federer rounds out the top five.