HoopsHype Business rumors

April 9, 2014 Updates

Money wins these arguments and the day is coming, something NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told Dan Patrick when Silver stopped by on the Dan Patrick Show Wednesday. Patrick asked him if ads on jerseys are “viable” and “inevitable”: “Yes and yes. Maybe it’s because I spent so many years of my two decades here selling the NBA internationally and traveling internationally, but it is so commonplace for soccer clubs around the world and basketball clubs as well outside the United States. In this day and age of non-live programing where people are using their DVR and skipping through commercials it’s just that much more of an opportunity for our sponsors to get that much closer to our game, to be close to our athletes.” NBCSports.com

Also, Patrick brought up Silver wanting to raise age limit to 20: “I’m not sure why it has gotten so much attention in the past few months because it’s been something we’ve been talking about for a while. But I’ve been talking about it. Maybe the only difference in my approach from David’s is I’ve been talking more about the college game. And while we think raising the age limit from 19 to 20 would be helpful for the NBA I think it would do a lot for college basketball as well.” NBCSports.com

April 2, 2014 Updates

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard and adidas are on the cusp of finalizing a multiyear, lucrative shoe endorsement deal barring any hiccups, a league source informed CSNNW.com. Once official, an announcement is expected in the coming days. “We’re close,” Lillard told CSNNW.com on Tuesday. “Nothing final yet. I'm excited.” CSNNW.com

As of right now, the ads and markers visible to those watching TV—first-down lines in football, banners on baseball backstops and basketball stanchions—only can be affixed to stationary objects. Or so sources far more familiar with SportsVision, Inc. and its mechanics tell me. But if there's already video technology to illuminate a moving object (like FoxTrax making a hockey puck glow), it seems only a matter of time before the ability to project a logo or company name on moving objects is developed. In the meantime, projecting ads on jerseys during free throws or other moments when players are stationary shouldn't be a problem. Bleacher Report

The added bonus is the flexibility in how often an ad appears and upon whom. Instead of being locked into one advertiser for an entire season—or going through the awkwardness of having a company name on a team uniform one year and a different one the next—the space could be sold on a game-by-game or player-by-player basis. The front of LeBron James' jersey in Game 7 of the NBA Finals obviously should be worth more than that of Casper Ware in a regular-season game, but how do you make that distinction if the ads on both jerseys are permanently affixed? Bleacher Report

April 1, 2014 Updates
March 29, 2014 Updates

The Astros, Comcast and Rockets have agreed to allow U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes to mediate a potential resolution in the Comcast SportsNet Houston bankruptcy case. Rockets owner Leslie Alexander, Astros owner Jim Crane and a Comcast executive signed the mediation agreement during a seven-hour, closed-door session Friday with Hughes, who is hearing the Astros’ appeal of an order placing CSN Houston under Chapter 11 protection. The parties agree in the document to allow Hughes to mediate their dispute and agree that he can continue to preside over the bankruptcy appeal. The order also opens the possibility of more mediation sessions with the judge. Houston Chronicle

Former NBA player Jamal Mashburn is teaming up with veteran ad man Jonathan Sackett to open a new advertising agency in Chicago. The duo hope to take advantage of marketers’ growing interest in smaller agencies that can more nimbly respond to changes underway in the media landscape, such as the rise of social media. “Many of the big agencies can’t turn around on a dime,” said Mr. Sackett, who will be chief executive of Mashburn Sackett. Mr. Sackett, 44-years old, was most recently a senior partner at WPP’s Ogilvy & Mather. North Dallas Gazette

March 24, 2014 Updates

Commissioner Adam Silver told Bleacher Report he intends to revisit the issue after the season. He plans to meet with LeBron James, one of the loudest critics of the jerseys. The NBA could decide to curtail the use of the sleeved jerseys, leave it up to individual teams or simply kill the program for good. "Ultimately, if the players don't like them, we'll move on to something else," Silver told Bleacher Report. "I don't regret doing it for this season. But it's intended to be something fun for the fans and the players. And if it becomes a serious issue, as to whether players should be wearing sleeves, we'll likely move onto other things." Bleacher Report

The comments, coming from the NBA's greatest player, reverberated at Olympic Tower. The NBA could brush off the barbs from writers and role players. But when LeBron speaks, the league listens. Silver admitted the remarks struck a chord. "It did," he said. "I've had conversations with LeBron about the jerseys, and we agreed that we would park the issue until the end of the season. And that once the season is over, he expressed an interest in sitting down with me and Sal LaRocca (the NBA's president of merchandising) and discussing his point of view." Bleacher Report

Faced with the reality of the final years of his career, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant announced on Sunday his plans to start his next career: Businessman. Bryant, in an exclusive interview with ESPN, revealed that he has formed his own company called Kobe Inc., and is building a team around him to start new businesses and evaluate investing in others. "I have always had ideas and always had a vision of where I wanted to go going back to 2000, but they are just ideas," Bryant said. "Now, once the Achilles injury took place, I'm sitting at home for months not moving, a couple things set in. One is that there is only so many Modern Family episodes a person can watch. And then two, what do I do now?" ESPN.com

March 19, 2014 Updates

During the session, Silver hit on a variety of topics, including the league’s TV rights deals, tanking, jersey ads, expansion and ways fans consume the league digitally. Here are a few quick hits: On jersey ads: “I think it’s inevitable. There are so many programs because of TiVo where people are skipping all the commercials, it just creates that much more of an opportunity for our marketing partners to get closer to our fans and closer to our players. And it gives us an opportunity to have deeper integration when it comes to those forms of sponsorship. … I think it’s going to become more accepted and commonplace by U.S. fans. Most likely within five years.” Sports Business Daily

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver says the way that the NBA sells games on smartphones and tablets, and the way that fans consume them, is “pretty clunky,” and that he’d like to find ways to simplify the process. “The existing combination of blackouts and multiple broadcasters makes it very difficult to present what would otherwise be a simpler consumer experience,” said Silver during a one-on-one interview at the 2014 IMG World Congress of Sports. “Nirvana would be that if someone was tweeting about a great game, and they say ‘tune in, LeBron has 25 points through the first quarter against Cleveland,’ that you just go ‘click’ and if you’re an authenticated subscriber, you can then get that game. Right now – less because of market considerations and more because of limitations in technology – the only way you can buy our out-of-market package is through an All-You-Can-Eat package of games. And that’s not optimal for a lot of consumers. Our hope is that working with our TV partners, including RSN partners, you can have one combined ecosystem.” Sports Business Daily

Following gum and even sneakers inspired by the coloring of the drink and its can, Sprite has finally saw fit to give LeBron James his own drink. Sprite announced today that it would be releasing Sprite 6 Mix by LeBron James, a drink that features the traditional lemon-lime flavor alongside cherry and orange. The drink will be available nationwide for a limited time in 19.2-ounce cans and 20-ounce bottles. James has had a deal with Coca-Cola since his rookie season in the NBA, now eleven years ago. stupidDOPE.com

March 13, 2014 Updates

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