Tiger is Still America's Favorite Sports Star, but Shares Title with Kobe Bryant

Serena and Venus Williams retain their titles of America's Favorite Female Sports Star

New York, N.Y. — July 20, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — Despite his public image taking major hits this year, there is one bright spot for Tiger Woods. While he is no longer alone on top of the list, he is at least tied for first place as America’s Favorite Sports Star. Since 2006, this was a title he held solo, but this year, besides another NBA championship, Kobe Bryant can also share in being called America’s Favorite Sports Star, a jump up from the 4th position he was in last year.

Rounding out the top five are New York Yankee Derek Jeter at number 3, up from 5th place; Minnesota Viking Brett Favre at number 4, a leap from his 9th place position last year; and this season’s losing Super Bowl quarterback, Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts at number 5, up from 7th place last year.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,227 adults surveyed online between June 14 and 21, 2010 by Harris Interactive.

Looking at the rest of the top ten, LeBron James left Cleveland for Miami and dropped three spots to number 6 on this year’s list while another NBA superstar—but one who no longer plays—Michael Jordan, drops from the 2nd spot on the list to number 7 this year. New England Patriots’ quarterback, Tom Brady, returns to the list after a one year absence at number 8 and the winning quarterback from this year’s Super Bowl, Drew Brees, debuts at number 9. Finally, a NASCAR superstar, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is at number 10, down from number 8 last year.

Two stars dropped off the top ten this year: another NASCAR legend, Jeff Gordon dropped from number 6 and baseball great, Albert Pujols dropped from number 10 last year.

Different groups have their different favorites. For men, Tiger is still number one, but for women it’s Kobe Bryant. There are also generational differences. Both Echo Boomers (those 18-33) and Baby Boomers (those 46-64) have Kobe Bryant as their number one while Gen Xers (those 34-45) say it is Brett Favre and Matures (those 65 and older) stick with Tiger.

Favorite Female Sports Star

Just like last year, Serena and Venus Williams are number one and number two on the Favorite Female Sports Star list, followed by race car driver Danica Patrick. Perhaps thanks to the World Cup excitement, Mia Hamm moves up from number 5 to number 4 this year, followed by tennis star Maria Sharapova who moves to number 5 from a tie in 6th last year. Next in the top ten is another tennis star, Anna Kournikova at number 6, up from 9th last year. Four newcomers or returning female stars round out the top ten: gold medal volleyball player Misty May, and gold medal winning gymnast and Dancing with the Stars champion, Shawn Johnson, are tied for number 7; at number 9 is women’s basketball star Lisa Leslie; and tied for the 10th spot on the list are two former tennis greats, Billie Jean King and Martina Navratalova.

The four female sports stars who dropped off the list are basketball star, Candace Parker, who was number 4 last year; golfer, Annika Sorenstam, who was tied for number 6; former tennis star, Chris Everett who was number 8, and skater Michelle Kwan, who was number 10.

So what?

Sometimes a sports star is more noted for things they do outside of their sport. Tiger Woods was in the news more for his marital woes and infidelities and his losing tournaments this year, yet he is still at the top of the list, albeit in a tie. Shawn Johnson was in the 2008 Olympics, but appearing on Dancing with the Stars helped bring her top-of-mind and spur her onto the list of favorite female stars this year. Regardless, the list of one golfer, three basketball stars, one baseball player, four quarterbacks, and one race car driver truly represents some of the greatest in their respective sports.


TABLE 1
FAVORITE SPORTS STAR – TOP 10 RANKING

“Who is your favorite sports star?”

Base: All adults

 
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999

Tiger Woods

*
*
*
*
*
*
7

Kobe Bryant

*
*
*
*
**
*
*

Derek Jeter

*
*
*
*
*
*
*

Brett Favre

*
*
*
8
3
4
4

Peyton Manning

*
*
*
*
*
*
*

LeBron James

*
*
*
*
*
*
*

Michael Jordan

1
1
1
1
1
1
1

Tom Brady

*
*
*
*
*
*
*

Drew Brees

*
*
*
*
*
*
*

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

*
*
*
*
*
*
8

 
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010

Tiger Woods

2
2
3
1
1
1
1
=1

Kobe Bryant

7
6
*
7
9
4
4
=1

Derek Jeter

*
10
5
4
2
7
5
3

Brett Favre

3
3
4
3
4
3
9
4

Peyton Manning

*
7
2
*
8
=8
7
5

LeBron James

*
*
*
8
5
*
3
6

Michael Jordan

1
1
1
2
3
2
2
7

Tom Brady

*
*
7
*
10
=8
*
8

Drew Brees

*
*
*
*
*
*
*
9

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

*
5
8
5
6
6
8
10

* Not listed in that year


New and returning to the Top 10 This Year - Tom Brady (returning from 8 in 2008) and Drew Brees

On the 2009 List But Dropped off Top 10 This Year - Jeff Gordon (was 6) and Albert Pujols (was 10)


TABLE 2
FAVORITE SPORTS STAR AMONG DIFFERENT DEMOGRAPHIC GROUPS


Base: All adults

Men:

Tiger Woods

Women:

Kobe Bryant

White

Derek Jeter

African American

Kobe Bryant

Hispanic

Kobe Bryant

Echo Boomers (those ages 18 to 33):

Kobe Bryant

Gen X (those ages 34 to 45):

Brett Favre

Baby Boomers (those ages 46 to 64):

Kobe Bryant

Matures (those ages 65 and over):

Tiger Woods


TABLE 3
FAVORITE FEMALE SPORTS STAR – TOP-10 RANKING

“Thinking about the female sports stars you like, which ones are your favorites?”

Base: All adults

 
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010

Serena Williams

2
2
2
1
2
1
1

Venus Williams

1
3
1
3
3
2
2

Danica Patrick

*
*
5
2
1
3
3

Mia Hamm

3
1
3
4
5
5
4

Maria Sharapova

*
*
8
5
4
=6
5

Anna Kournikova

6
5
9
9
*
9
6

Misty May

*
*
*
*
*
*
=7

Shawn Johnson

*
*
*
*
*
*
=7

Lisa Leslie

*
*
*
*
*
*
9

Billy Jean King

*
*
*
*
10
*
=10

Martina Navratalova

*
*
*
*
*
*
=10

* Not listed in that year

Those who are new or returning to the Top 10 This Year
Misty May (=7), Shawn Johnson (=7), Lisa Leslie (=9), Billy Jean King (=10) and Martina Navratalova (=10)

Those on the 2009 List Who Have Dropped Out of the Top Ten This Year
Candace Parker (was 4), Annika Sorenstam (was =6), Chris Everett Lloyd (was 8), Michelle Kwan (was 10)



TABLE 4
FAVORITE FEMALE SPORTS STAR AMONG DIFFERENT DEMOGRAPHIC GROUPS


Base: All adults

Men:

Serena Williams

Women:

Serena Williams

Echo Boomers (those ages 18 to 32)

Serena Williams

Gen X (those ages 33 to 44)

Danica Patrick

Baby Boomers (those ages 45 to 63)

Serena Williams

Matures (those ages 64 and older)

Serena Williams

White

Danica Patrick

Black

Serena Williams

Hispanic

Venus Williams


Methodology

This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States June 14 to 21, 2010 among 2,227 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words “margin of error” as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.

J38301
Q880, 885, 890

The Harris Poll® #90, July 20, 2010
By Regina A. Corso, Director, The Harris Poll, Harris Interactive


About Harris Interactive

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