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White is eighth most powerful athlete

1/26/2012
Sean White drops from No. 2 to eighth on Bloomberg BusinessWeek's Power 100. Trevor Brown, Jr./ESPN

Shaun White fell to eighth place in the 2012 Bloomberg BusinessWeek Power 100 rankings -- released on Thursday just as Winter X Games 2012 got under way at Buttermilk in Aspen, Colo. However, he's still the only action sports athlete to crack the top 100, much less the top 10. White was No. 2 on the list in 2011, just behind Tiger Woods, who is now ranked 12th.

"Shaun slipping was a little bit of a surprise for us -- he's still fantastic at No. 8 -- but he's come off the high in awareness from the Olympic Games, and he had a little bit of a drop in his overall appeal numbers," says David Newman, vice president of analytics at CSE Group, who evaluated more than 3,000 athletes in this year's ranking. "He's very selective about what events he competes in, and that was part of the adjustment in his on-field score."

The Power 100 list accounts for each athlete's on-field performance -- how well an individual athlete performs in his or her sport in relationship to their peers -- as well as an off-field component that considers factors including endorsement money and sponsorships, social media presence (White has 1,842,320 Facebook "likes" and 754,859 Twitter followers as of this writing), and less tangible things such as "public awareness" and "likeability," as measured by the
Nielsen/E-Poll N-Score
.

NFL quarterbacks Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady hold the top three spots on the 2012 Power 100, followed by NBA star LeBron James, tennis players Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, retired NBA player Shaquille O'Neal and White. Tennis player Novak Djokovic and NFL wide receiver Calvin Johnson round out the top 10.

Newman says he's unable to disclose rankings beyond the top 100, but says other action sports stars are on the rise and confirmed that snowboarders Louie Vito and Hannah Teter fell just outside the top 100.

This is the third year the Power 100 list has been compiled by the magazine.