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These Big Sporting Moments Resulted in Baby Name Surges

Look no further for some baby name inspo.
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By Nehal Aggarwal, Editor
Published July 29, 2022
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Image: Mangostar/Shutterstock

Still searching for the perfect baby name for your little one? If so, you might be looking to your family tree, heritage or pop culture—and inspiration can strike in some unlikely places, such as big moments in sports. For example, in 2010, after his Master’s return, the number of babies named after Tiger Woods increased by over 200 percent. The research was conducted by Betsperts, a digital platform for sports consumers, and looked at government data to reveal which athletes and sporting moments inspired a surge in baby names across the US. Their data also found that Kobe Bryant had inspired the most baby names of any American athlete in the 21st century. Plus, the name “Sidney” has increased by over 2000 percent since 2005 thanks to Pittsburgh Penguins captain and popular athlete Sidney Crosby.

Below, the top 10 sporting moments that resulted in a baby names surge in the United States:

Tiger Woods

Woods experienced a difficult year in 2009, but returned to the Masters in April 2010. Following his return, babies being named after the athlete saw a 225 percent increase, jumping from 40 baby names in 2009 to 130 names in 2010.

Kobe Bryant

The basketball player, who had retired in 2016, tragically and unexpectedly died in a helicopter crash in January 2020. To commemorate his life, many fans named their baby after him, resulting in a 201.6 percent baby name increase from 2019 to 2020.

Venus Williams

The tennis star became the Wimbledon champion in July 2007, and, as a result, inspired a baby name surge of 115 percent from 2006 to 2008.

Derek Jeter

The New York Yankees player retired in September 2014, causing a 95.5 percent increase in babies named after him from 2014 to 2015.

Odell Beckham Jr

The football player was the 2015 NFL Rookie of Year in January 2015. As a result, the name “Beckham” rose in popularity by 83 percent between 2013 and 2017.

Kawhi Leonard

The Los Angeles Clippers basketball player won an impressive game against the Philadelphia 76ers in May 2019 by scoring the winning shot. As a result, he inspired a baby name increase of 79.5 percent between 2018 and 2019.

David Beckham

The superstar soccer player joined LA Galaxy in 2007, inspiring a baby name surge for “Beckham” of 77.7 percent between 2006 and 2008.

Vince Carter

The basketball player held the NBA record for the most free throws made in a quarter in December 2005. This inspired a baby name increase for “Vince” of 47 percent between 2005 and 2006.

Carli Lloyd

The former pro soccer player had the fastest hat-trick (when a single player scores three goals in one game) in World Cup history in July 2015, inspiring a baby name surge of 42.7 percent between 2014 and 2016.

Floyd Mayweather

The former boxer beat fellow fighter Manny Pacquiao by unanimous decision in April 2014, inspiring a baby name surge for “Floyd” of 35.6 percent between 2014 and 2016.

To see the full research, visit BetSperts.com, and for more baby name ideas, check out the lists on TheBump.com.

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