The Most Popular New England Patriot Isnt Brady or Gronkowski

Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara has earned the top spot on Brand Affinity Technologies’ monthly ranking of Rising Sports Stars, which calculates those with the most significant leap in popularity during the previous thirty days. The NHL All-Star Team Captain shattered his own record for the ‘hardest shot’ in the NHL last Saturday, firing a rocket that was clocked at an incredible 108.8 miles per hour.

New England Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes slides in at number two with a solid fifteen tackles, one sack and one interception in the postseason. Miami Dolphins wide out Brandon Marshall’s record day included six receptions for 176 yards in last Sunday’s Pro-Bowl, securing him as the game’s MVP, leading the AFC to victory and landing him the number three spot this month. NFC Championship game hero Devin Thomas of the New York Giants, Australian Open winners Victoria Azarenka and Novak Djokovic, and Rolex 24 at Daytona champion A.J. Allmendinger highlight the individual sport athletes peaking right now. Jodie Meeks’ three-point prowess has helped the Philadelphia 76ers emerge as a surprise team in the East and Indiana Pacers Danny Granger’s high scoring month was not overlooked. The full list and additional details are available here

February 2012 Rising Sports Stars

1. Zdeno Chara NHL (Boston Bruins)
2. Brandon Spikes NFL (New England Patriots)
3. Brandon Marshall NFL (Miami Dolphins)
4. Hope Solo WPS (U.S.A. National Team)
5. Victoria Azarenka WTA  
6. Devin Thomas NFL (New York Giants)
7. A.J. Allmendinger NASCAR  
8. Jodie Meeks NBA (Philadelphia 76ers)
9. Danny Granger NBA (Indiana Pacers)
10. Novak Djokovic ATP  


“With athletes across hockey, tennis, soccer, football, basketball and auto racing, this impressive array in athletic talent presents a wide range in opportunities for brands to utilize key names in the local advertising space that are poised to deliver a strong return,” said Ryan Steelberg, CEO of Brand Affinity Technologies, which calculates the monthly Rising Stars ranking. ”

Brand Affinity Technologies (BAT) calculates daily consumer affinity based on a proprietary combination of media exposure, performance, awards, popularity, engagement, and fan base, among other indicators, for more than 45,000 athletes and celebrities. The list identifies sports stars with the greatest leap in popularity over the prior 30 days. A meteoric rise may indicate a standout on-the-field performance, off-the-field achievement, or emergence from utility player to celebrity.

Rising Sports Stars lists go live at the start of each month; subscribe to BAT’s Twitter feed at @BAT to learn when new lists are posted.

About Brand Affinity Technologies, Inc.  (BAT)
Founded in 2007 by Ryan Steelberg (CEO) and Chad Steelberg (CTO & President), Brand Affinity Technologies (BAT) ( unlocks the marketing power of celebrity through unique endorsement platforms, interactive experiences and comprehensive research. BAT’s Endorsement Platform, which provides daily analysis of more than 45,000 celebrities and athletes, along with the ability to identify, license, and activate talent for cross-media advertising campaigns, is currently utilized by companies such as AT&T, Comcast, IHG, Intuit, Ford, Samsung and Sony. BAT has exclusive representation agreements with more than 4,000 athletes and celebrities, such as Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees, among others. BAT also leverages its research and technology engine to engage consumers directly through Fantapper (, a free download that brings interactive apps to celebrity content across the web. Fantapper currently features the exclusive content of such stars as Nick Cannon,Peter Facinelli, Ashlee Simpson, Pete Yorn and more. Fantapper gives users immediate access to celebrity and athlete YouTube videos, Twitter and Facebook feeds and more all through whatever site they happen to be visiting.

Connect with BAT on Twitter: @BAT and Facebook