John Wall's Need for Increased Popularity

Posted on January 29, 2014 by Adam Bradley

Last week the NBA announced the Eastern Conference All-Star starters, John Wall was not included.  Instead, Kyrie Irving took the point guard spot as he more than tripled the number of fan votes Wall had. 

When people begin to discuss John Wall getting overlooked they always say Wall needs to play for a winner and once he does he'll begin to get the recognition.  I tend to agree with that thought but it begs the questions: why does Irving get the votes even though he's not on a winning team? 

The bottom line is: fan voting for the starters is a popularity contest. 

The fan voting has proven even if you're injured or having a bad season if you're a popular NBA player, you'll get the votes.  Right now, John Wall isn't "popular" enough among NBA fans

You could say that maybe fans just think Irving is playing better therefore thats why he earned more votes?  Unfortunately thats not the case, feel free to read here

In fact, Irving even got more votes than Chris Paul (860K to 804K) despite the fact Paul is the better player, plays in a bigger market, plays on a winning team and has made the playoffs before.  It all comes down to popularity for these fan votes.

So here's the question: how can Wall become more popular? 

Obviously the easy answer is to start winning.  With winning comes more nationally televised games and hopefully playoff games, both of which will increase Wall's popularity.  But there's more to this subject. 

Wall needs to be more viral.  

Look at Wall's Twitter numbers.  His 900K+ followers tells me he's popular. Kyrie Irving's million + followers tells me he's even more popular.  

Look closer at those numbers: usually the more tweeting you do, the more followers you gain but Irving has 200K+ more followers than Wall even though he's tweeted less than 18K times than Wall.  In addition, with Irving's one year in College being reduced due to injury, Wall had more TV time in College and has one more year under NBA's bright lights but is still less "popular." 

And isn't DC a larger market than Cleveland?

 So how does Irving become 3X as popular (according to fan votes) than Wall.  Here are some reasons: 

He sparked a ton of buzz by challenging one of the best, Kobe Bryant in a one-on-one battle, the video of the challenge goes on Youtube and close to 5 million views later Irving is making an impression.

Pepsi Max puts Irving into a commercial series titled Uncle Drew that is close to surpassing 50 MILLION Youtube hits among the various chapters.

The almost 50 million views of Uncle Drew trumps the 2 million views Wall's Adidas Basketball "Quick Aint Fair" video campaign totaled.  

Obviously the results of a marketing campaign is something out of the players control but it helps explain why some players become more popular than others.  The brands who players align themselves become so critical in building a player from a player to a star.  Right now Wall's sponsors aren't maximizing their return and Wall is feeling the impact. 

WizardsXTRA co-host Andrew Valle who's a sneaker head, has been begging for Adidas to create some custom's of Wall's shoe so they can get hyped around the sneaker community.  Something you see currently being done for guys like Durant and Lebron but hasn't been done for Wall. 

Have you seen Wall's Best Buy commercial?  There isn't much to it and the numbers say the same thing.  If you were't a basketball fan and weren't familiar with Wall, theres a good chance you'd have no idea the guy in the commercial is one of the top-10 point guards in the world. 

So when you challenge Kobe Bryant and the video goes viral, when one of your sponsors puts you in one of the most successful NBA marketing campaigns ever people begin to take notice and more opportunities open up.  Opportunities like this one: 

next up:

XTRA Recap: Wiz Take Down Splash Bros

January 29, 2014

Washington gets back to .500 after taking down the Warriors on the road!


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