HoopsHype Marketing rumors

June 15, 2013 Updates

The Memphis-San Antonio Western Conference finals struggled to draw even half the television audience on ESPN that the Boston-Miami conference finals did the year before. NBA Finals ratings over the years have consistently shown that a shortage of superstars means no shot at a double-digit TV rating. And superstars tend to gravitate toward the big markets. "Who cares about TV ratings?" is the commonly heard whine from those who don't understand or care about the business of sports. Advertisers and television executives care. And since advertisers pay the TV networks, and the networks are the ones writing billion-dollar checks to sports leagues, there's plenty of reason for the NBA to care about what they care about. ESPN.com

Yet the NBA continues to go out of its way to support the smaller markets. It was willing to lop off 20 percent of the 2011-12 season with a lockout to get a collective bargaining agreement better suited to the have-nots. It allowed the SuperSonics to leave Seattle for Oklahoma City and kept the Kings from leaving Sacramento to replace them. This isn't a perception; it's David Stern's stated goal. "Everything that we have done in terms of collective bargaining is designed to level the playing field and allow teams that are well managed, no matter what their market size, to be in the Finals," the outgoing commissioner said in his last pre-Finals address to the media. "This is a league that prides itself on Oklahoma City, Memphis, Salt Lake City, Portland, San Antonio, Sacramento, Indianapolis, on and on and on." ESPN.com

March 17, 2013 Updates
March 15, 2013 Updates

The league did extensive market research to learn what fans wanted and says it got a much stronger response to the jersey names it chose than a true translation. (The league also expanded the event to include culturally relevant music and food.) “Fans didn’t relate when the name was in Spanish,” Sorrosa said. “This is what they were using in their own conversation.” Latino marketing experts said they agree. Felipe Korzenny, director and founder of the Center for the Study of Hispanic Marketing at Florida State, said it would have been a tactical error to translate because Latinos don’t see the team names as words — lower case “heat” or “bull” — but as proper nouns, brand names that have equity. “They don’t translate Coca-Cola or Clorox into Spanish,” he said. New York Times

The term for switching between two languages in a conversation is “code-switching,” he said, and added that it is common in sports: in baseball, the word pitcher or catcher does not get translated by Latino fans; they simply become “el pitcher” and “el catcher.” “I grew up in Mexico and I agree, that’s the way we spoke,” said Jorge Ortega, creative director at the Latino-focused marketing group Wing. While he said it would be cool to have uniforms that read “Toros”or “Espuelas” the N.B.A.’s approach is “where we are right now — the culture is assimilating and becoming more multilingual.” New York Times

July 8, 2011 Updates

On a poll taken on May 24, 2010, 71.5 percent of people found James appealing with almost 70 percent of people saying they'd perhaps be swayed by his endorsement of a product. About 56 percent of people, at the time, said they would trust him. In a poll taken just days after the decision (7/11/10), James' appeal dropped by more 11 percent, his endorsement appeal by two percentage percent and trust plummeted by more than three percent. DBI took eight more polls of the public and how they felt about James. CNBC

James' appeal had climbed back up somewhat to almost 63 percent by May 24, 2011, his endorsement was holding steady and his trust was showing improvement. But all that plummeted when the poll was taken after the Finals. James was criticized for not showing up in the fourth quarter and for looking down on people who criticized him. DBI's poll taken on June 19, shows that LeBron's appeal was at the lowest it has ever been (57%) and that his trust was hovering at all-time lows (48.87 percent). It's debatable as to whether this has hurt LeBron's business. Nike [NKE 93.24 -0.42 (-0.45%) ] said last month it sold more than 500,000 pairs of his signature shoes this past year and he was, after all, the NBA's most popular jersey. CNBC

Andrew Stroth, a Chicago-based attorney who negotiates marketing deals for pro athletes, represented Dwyane Wade in 2006 after he led the Miami Heat to a championship. He has seen first-hand how stars become mega-stars and the opportunities that result from it. And he can’t figure out why Nowitzki seems intent on passing them up, especially with his built-in international appeal and European roots. “Is it a unique approach or a missed opportunity?” said Stroth, who no longer works with Wade. “He has an opportunity to build generational wealth. I respect he’s 100 percent focused on basketball, but there’s a huge opportunity for him given the strength of the NBA worldwide, and the fact he’s German, it’s a perfect storm. He wins the world championship, he’s a global personality and with the strength of the NBA on a global basis, why wouldn’t you explore opportunities he may never have again?” The Daily

But perhaps by turning down endorsements, it will be easier for Nowitzki to maintain his appeal as a different kind of NBA star. It wasn’t just his play during the finals that captured the public’s imagination, but rather his role as the foil to LeBron James. Unlike James, Nowitzki never made a big deal of his free agency last summer, quietly re-signing with Dallas for less money. Unlike James, he was clutch in the fourth quarter. And unlike James, he was only interested in winning championship, not becoming the face of a watch company. In a way, turning down so much money makes Nowitzki more likable than ever. “The fact he doesn’t want deals makes him that much more desirable as a spokesperson,” Adler said. “If he ever does take a deal, it’s only going to be a brand he legitimately believes in. And the likelihood of the wear-out factor, where every 10 seconds a guy is endorsing something else, that’s highly unlikely to be the case.” The Daily

May 23, 2011 Updates

This morning, a press release was issued confirming that the NBA has reached a new multi-year agreement with both EA and 2k for an undisclosed amount of time. While this has been the formula in place for over ten years, and a successful one at that, in some ways it is a surprise to me that the NBA chose to extend now. OperationSports.com

April 25, 2011 Updates

While most of television loads up for the royal wedding Friday, Disney XD is dedicating a large part of its day to sports. The centerpiece of its effort is the series premiere of "NBA Fit," a six-episode skein encouraging health and fitness for kids that will feature such NBA stars as Dwight Howard, Kevin Durant, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul and Derrick Rose. NBA Entertainment is producing the series. Disney XD will also offer sports-themed episodes of such programs as "Phineas and Ferb" and "Pair of Kings." Variety.com

With the NBA playoffs in full swing, I downloaded the NBA Game Time iPad app for a test run. The free second-screen app (iTunes) was updated earlier this month. For NBA junkies, the app is a must for real-time stats while watching TV. It shows who’s on the court at any given time, shooting percentages, play-by-play details and box scores. Lost Remote

April 21, 2011 Updates

Major sports brand joins the social network fray Disney’s social unit Playdom is brining the NBA franchise to Facebook. The Californian social studio was last year acquired by Disney for $563.2 million, with another $200 million on offer based on future performance. It has partnered with NBA Digital to build a fantasy team game, where Facebook users can hand pick NBA stars from 1946 to the present day. Develop

March 16, 2011 Updates

United Brands Creative Management announced March 15 that it has been appointed to provide professional marketing services for Gameplan Concepts to promote the NBA diamond jewelry brand. "Our management team will cover all 30 National Basketball Association team markets, reaching the expanding audiences nationwide, to help support a network of authorized NBA Diamond Jewelry retailers," said Lyle M. Rose, president of United Brands Worldwide, in a statement. “Our plans are to drive consumers to our retail partners by reaching out to them via multiple social networks that connect each NBA team to their audiences." Jewelry Industry Authority

January 7, 2011 Updates
December 23, 2010 Updates

Along with leftover turkey and a mound of crumpled wrapping paper, expect a large dose of BBVA Compass on Christmas Day. That's when the Birmingham-based bank plans to flood the television airwaves with advertisements and shots of stadium billboards adorned with its name, as it begins its multi-year sponsorship agreement with the National Basketball Association. BBVA Compass this year signed on to be the NBA's official financial institution. Saturday, one of the NBA's showcase days during the regular season, marks the first time the bank will air nationally televised advertisements. Birmingham News

September 30, 2010 Updates

This morning, the NBA released its annual list of its most popular jerseys in Europe. The Orlando Magic center ranked eighth overall. Kobe Bryant tops the list for the third year in a row. He’s followed by LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Pau Gasol and Kevin Garnett. Bargnani, who was born in Italy, is sixth. Calderon, who hails from Spain, is seventh. The list is based on sales from retail locations across Europe during the 2009-10 NBA season. Here’s the full list: 1. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers 2. LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers* 3. Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat 4. Pau Gasol, Los Angeles Lakers 5. Kevin Garnett, Boston Celtics 6. Andrea Bargnani, Toronto Raptors 7. Jose Calderon, Toronto Raptors 8. Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic Orlando Sentinel

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