HoopsHype Marketing rumors

July 16, 2014 Updates

All NBA teams that have won a championship will wear a small gold tab on their back jersey collars starting with the 2014-15 season, according to images obtained from an adidas retail catalog that began circulating on the Internet on Tuesday afternoon. The gold championship tab would be the first league-wide championship badge ever used by one of the "Big Four" North American professional sports leagues, and it is similar to the star system used by soccer teams to denote World Cup titles. ESPN.com

NBA jerseys next season will have gold patches recognizing past championship teams. The small, rectangular tabs feature an image of the Larry O'Brien trophy and appear on the back of the jersey's collar, above the league's Jerry West logo, which has been moved from the left shoulder on the front to above the player's last name on the back. Each franchise with at least one title gets the trophy patch. Franchises with multiple titles get patches that include a "2x" or "3x" or more alongside the trophy. Sports Illustrated

July 13, 2014 Updates
July 12, 2014 Updates

Cleveland embraced the return of the "King" as expected, as the Cavaliers had all but sold out of season tickets less than eight hours after LeBron James announced he would come back to accomplish some unfinished business with the team. A Cavaliers source confirmed to ESPN.com that the team capped season-ticket sales at slightly more than 12,000 tickets Friday, leaving roughly 8,000 tickets per game to be used for group sales and ticket plans. Shortly before 12:30 p.m. ET, when James' decision was revealed, the Cavaliers' ticket phone lines were so jammed that the team began rerouting lines in the office to be used for ticket sales. The Cavaliers sell season tickets only over the phone. ESPN.com

July 10, 2014 Updates

The NBA has hired longtime marketing executive Pamela El as its chief marketing officer. El will join the league on Aug. 18 and be responsible for marketing and advertising for the NBA, WNBA and NBA Development League. El was formerly the senior vice president of financial brand marketing for Nationwide Insurance. Before that, she spent more than a decade with State Farm Insurance as marketing vice president. Boston Herald

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

Q: A 70 percent renewal rate is almost a third of your season ticket base lost. Will the revenue generated from the price increase offset that enough? Chris Wright: Yes, especially since the vast majority of our renewals is in the lower levels. We feel very comfortable with that. Q: How important is to get Kevin Love and everybody else back on the floor in these final weeks to prove there’s a reason for fans to hope next season? Chris Wright: It’s really important the guys get back and pretty meaningful for our fans to see the guys run out there so people understand those players are going down the path Ricky has come back from. Minneapolis Star-Tribune

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

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