Seahawks Russell Wilson most popular pro athlete in Washington state

Apr 22, 2014, 1:11 PM | Updated: 1:52 pm
A new study of Google search data finds Russell Wilson is by far the most popular pro athlete in Wa...
A new study of Google search data finds Russell Wilson is by far the most popular pro athlete in Washington State. (AP file)
(AP file)

He’s only been in town for a couple of years, but there’s no doubt Russell Wilson is far and away the most popular athlete in the state.

The Seahawks quarterback tops the list in Washington, according to a study of the average monthly Google searches by the website besttickets.

It’s little surprise, considering Wilson’s national celebrity after leading the Seahawks to a Super Bowl championship and all of the media attention and commercial deals he’s gotten since.

What might be be surprising, however, is that his popularity is far out paced across the country by other sports stars.

Miami Heat star and reigning two-time NBA champ LeBron James dominates the list nationwide. James is the most popular athlete in 23 states, from Oregon to Florida. Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is next, claiming seven states, including in the Intermountain West from Montana to New Mexico. He’s also the most popular in Tennessee, home to his alma mater, and Indiana, where he played for years for the Colts.

While James is the most popular athlete, the NFL far eclipses the popularity of the NBA. Pro football is tops in all but three states. Not surprisingly, the NBA is more popular in Oregon, which doesn’t have an NFL team, in Oklahoma City, which only has our former Sonics to call its own, and in New York. The NFL and NBA tied in popularity in Florida.

Despite winning the Super Bowl, the Seahawks are only the second most popular NFL team according to Google search data. The Denver Broncos topped the list, followed by Seattle, the Patriots, the 49ers and the Minnesota Vikings.

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