Rise and Fall of Stars: Investigating the Evolution of Star Status in Professional Team Sports
45 Pages Posted: 18 May 2011
Date Written: May 16, 2011
This article describes an empirical study of the rise and fall of star athletes, using data from the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1987 to 2008. We measure star status by the number and share of all-star votes, and apply both Tobit regression and hazard models to investigate the determining factors for star status. We find that the attainment of star status begins with the athlete’s exceptional individual performance. We also find that having won a championship in the past can have a long-lasting effect on a player’s popularity. The popularity of an athlete depends on his team in two ways: The attainment of star status is associated with strong team performance, and star teammates can reinforce each other’s popularity. Interestingly, while stars can move from a losing team to a winning team to extend their star life, a team change can be very risky for new stars. Our results also suggest that teams with a large fan base, winning records, and star players should leverage these assets in attracting and retaining star players.
Keywords: Celebrity Brand, Star Athletes, Sports Marketing, Tobit Regression, Hazard Model
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