Darren Rovell – of CNBC and SportsBiz with Darren Rovell – posted “Better Looking Athletes Get Better Pay?“ this morning. The article builds upon the research I presented in the New York Times’ Play Magazine this weekend.
Rovell noted that our research indicates that better looking quarterbacks – in terms of facial symmetry – get more pay. And this effect is largest among the lowest paid quarterbacks. In other words, it is the back-up quarterbacks, or those that have the least amount of quality performance information, that benefit the most from how they physically look.
Rovell acknowledged this point, but still wanted to focus on the starting quarterbacks. And what he found that jersey sales differ between male and female fans. When we look at the top quarterbacks in jersey sales, Matt Hasselbeck is the only name not on both lists. For women, Hasselbeck’s jersey is ranked. Men, though, don’t see what the fuss is all about.
When we look at facial symmetry, we have a potential explanation for the difference. In our sample of quarterbacks, Hasselbeck ranks in the top 10 in facial symmetry. This might be why his jersey is so popular with women.
Of course, the idea that women consider physical attractiveness in evaluating quarterbacks is not very surprising. What is interesting is that “how a quarterback looks” appears to impact “how a quarterback is evaluated” by decision-makers in the NFL (who tend not to be women).
By the way, Rovell is asking his readers to vote on the following question: Should better looking athletes get more pay, with everything else being equal?
If you have a chance, click over to Rovell’s story and cast your vote.
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