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Tom Brady, Shaq Among Forbes' Top-Ten 'Most Influential Athletes'

Forbes Magazine recently released their 2011 Top-10 Most Influential Sports Figures. Tom Brady was ranked second, just behind NASCAR superstar Jimmie Johnson. The Patriots quarterback was not the only New England sports star on the list, as Shaquille O'Neal also made it, ranking fourth.

Forbes compiled the list to determine "Which athletes have the most sway with the public?"

According to the latest surveys conducted by E-Poll Market Research, in conjunction with Nielsen Media Research, fans see these 10 as the most significant. Candidates were limited to those posting "awareness" scores of at least 20%.

By their measurements, Brady earned 40% "Like/Like a lot" answers (compared to just 11% for "Dislike/Dislike a lot"), and an N-Score (endorsement potential) of 131 (the average athlete scores a 14).

Steady as she goes, Brady's talent and work ethic keep him consistently near the top, even as one of the few to hit double digits on the "dislike" meter.

The complete list is after the jump.

  1. Jimmie Johnson--NASCAR
  2. Tom Brady--New England Patriots
  3. Dale Earnhardt Jr.--NASCAR
  4. Shaquille O'Neal--Boston Celtics
  5. Michael Phelps--Olympic Swimmer
  6. Troy Polamalu--Pittsburgh Steelers
  7. Peyton Manning--Indianapolis Colts
  8. Jeff Gordon--NASCAR
  9. LeBron James--Miami Heat
  10. Tim Tebow--Denver Broncos