Jeanie Buss Rumors
Los Angeles Lakers co-owner Jeanie Buss met with Hall of Famer and former Lakers point guard Magic Johnson on Tuesday night, sources with knowledge of the meeting told ESPN. The exact nature of the meeting was not immediately clear, but sources said Buss has been soliciting opinions on the direction the franchise should take moving forward, after three straight losing seasons and possibly a fourth, with the Lakers already having lost 31 games this season.
If you can’t sell the team, sell the dream, right? Team president Jeanie Buss says for this new campaign, the brief for agency Ignition Creative was to tap into its long-standing bond with fans to build excitement around the new crop of young players now wearing the purple and yellow. “The Lakers are such a beloved brand in our market, and really across the country and around the world—we’re the most followed team in the NBA on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms,” says Buss. “We talked to Ignition about their ideas of connecting with our fans, express our excitement around this young team, but still keep what’s made them love the Lakers, to bring generations of Lakers fans together. The goal was really to let our fans know who this new, young team is and just how special this group of guys is as they launch their careers, and begin to make their mark on the NBA.”
In sports, winning has always been the best, most reliable marketing strategy around. But when you’re in rebuild mode, sitting near the bottom of the standings, it’s a much tougher proposition, particularly for a fanbase that’s accustomed to success. The Lakers have five NBA titles in this century alone (2010, 2009, 2002, 2001, 2000). “You can never discount winning,” says Buss. “That is our brand and it is the ultimate goal, but certainly I think it’s about giving this team their opportunity to come together and form their identity. The fans are such an important factor in motivating them, inspiring them, so the more our fans are engaged with our players like D’angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram, and Julius Randle, and Larry Nance Jr., the more they know, the more connected they are, the more the players feed off of that. All the pieces fit together when you’re building a team.”
“We were faced with a tougher challenge to always remember who we are,” says Buss. “We’re bigger than any one player or any one owner, the consistency is that fanbase. You can’t just live in the past, peddling the ’80s Showtime Lakers, and expect everyone to know what that is. We have many fans who weren’t even alive in the ’80s. One thing Dr. Buss asked me to do was to make sure the team continues to evolve and to put a new light on the team, and we’ve certainly tried to embrace that vision of his, evolving the brand while paying tribute to the past. That’s what Laker fans expect and what we try to deliver.”
Carmelo Anthony joked that Phil Jackson’s chances of returning to the Lakers took a major hit when he and Jeannie Buss ended their engagement. “That put an end to that, didn’t it?” Anthony said with a laugh.