Mark Cuban Rumors
The difference between the Mavs’ home and away attendance rates could be seen as a sign of how diehard their fanbase is. But here’s the thing: NBA attendance is measured in how many tickets are distributed, not how many are redeemed. A more accurate interpretation of the situation is that Mavs tickets aren’t selling out so much as they are being given out. “It’s far more important to me to build a fan base for the future,” Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, said in an email. “And the best way to do that is to get people to a game.”
But one thing that has helped the Mavericks to extend their sellout streak is the number of tickets that are donated to schools and charities. “For slow games, we will use our community service group to proactively invite groups to a game,” Cuban said. If a game doesn’t sell out on its own, the Mavs can donate the remaining tickets and still call it out a sellout. “Tickets are perishable,” Cuban said. “We feel like having a seat full with a young fan creates a Mavericks fan for life. It’s an investment in building our future fan base.” Cuban said the sellout streak is not all that important to him, but he also recognizes that it is important to his organization’s sales and community groups. “They know I care far less about the gate than I do having a full house,” said Cuban, who said ticket sales have been making up a shrinking percentage of the Mavs’ total revenue in recent years as other sources of revenue have risen (e.g., national TV revenue and sponsorship sales). “So they have carte blanche to put ‘butts in seats’ over revenue.”
Cuban prefers to chase championships with franchise icon Dirk Nowitzki still productive. But even Cuban has had to humble himself and pare his franchise goals for the long run. “Last year it was brutal because we were going in trying to make the playoffs and see what would happen,” said Cuban, whose team went 33-49, 11th in the West. “This year we came in to be young, it’s just that some of our young guys are hurt. You take out [39-year-old] Dirk and our average age is a whole lot younger.”
“It’s conceivable we could win 40 games and have the fifth pick, which I’d take,” Cuban said. “We’re balanced, which means the bad teams are winning more games, which means we can play better and get better and get a good pick.” Cuban understands the way for bad teams to improve is through free agency and the draft. “Eyes on the prize, eyes on the prize,” Cuban said. “You see Dennis making strides every day. People forget Yogi is effectively a rookie. There’s a lot guys that are still learning to play.
Cuban believes the NBA is the No. 1 professional sports league in terms of growth because of its international outreach, embracing of social media, and gregarious stars. “It’s not a straight line. There’s going to be a lot of zigs and zags and ups and downs, but there’s no professional sport in a better position globally than the NBA. Not a single one,” Cuban said. “I said this about the NFL, you work hard going up the hill and it’s harder staying on the hill. We’re second or third, but who’s in a better position? We’re doing the right things, but we have to make sure we execute it.”
Changing agents is nothing new in the NBA, especially for Jordan, who had employed three different agencies to represent him in contract negotiations in his first seven seasons. When DeAndre Jordan fired Dan Fegan in 2015, whose cozy relationship with Mavs owner Mark Cuban cast a shadow over the initial decision to sign with Dallas, Jordan was required by players association rules to wait 15 days to hire a new one. “He was deciding between Jeff [Schwartz] and Rich Paul,” a person familiar with Jordan’s thinking told Bleacher Report. “I had heard back then that he was 100 percent signing with Jeff.”
“There’s a confluence of a couple of things,” Cuban said. “No. 1, our demographic keeps on getting younger. The NFL and baseball, they keep on getting older. And I think what we’re doing with (the video game) NBA 2K is brilliant. And in the bigger scheme of things in terms of building fans for the future, what do you want your kids to play? I mean, of all the sports out there, do you want to go to a baseball game, or do want to watch your kid play basketball? Do you want to worry about him a whole football game, or do you want to watch your kid play basketball? Do you want him to get healthy from running the court, or do you want to watch him play football and worry about collisions.