Some people are luckier than others, and if you are at least moderately familiar with the Tiger Woods case, his particular luck is stunning. An athlete who used the public to promote a pristine image that brought him a fortune,
shows that his real self is far from immaculate, faces the critique of the media, but, according to a poll by Harris Interactive, is still the Number #1 most liked athlete in the United States among adults 18 and up. Unbelievable? Maybe not, but then again, there are a few questions around how Harris Interactive conducts its polls.
Harris Interactive has two poll panels: the Harris Poll Online Panel and the Harris Poll Global Omnibus. To determine who are America’s Favorite Sports Stars, Harris Interactive is using the Harris Poll Online Panel, that consists of individuals who have double opted-in and voluntarily agreed to participate in their various online research studies. This year there were 2,227 adults surveyed online between June 14 and 21, 2010 by Harris Interactive. The poll concluded with the following results:
Tiger Woods and Kobe Bryant share the first position. 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. 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.
It’s at least interesting to see the results of the poll, and hard to believe that the Americans are so willing too forgive Woods’ gross lies, especially since his professional performances are no longer as flawless as they used to be. But regardless what I believe, apparently Woods’ PR strategy (first lie, than keep quiet, apologize and run to a rehab facility) worked. There is a lesson in this, a lesson I don’t want to learn, a lesson I hope I will never be forced to use in my profession.