HoopsHype Business rumors

July 10, 2014 Updates
July 9, 2014 Updates

The Brooklyn Nets will pay a record $90.57 million in luxury taxes for the 2013-14 season, sources told ESPN.com. The NBA released its audit to teams ahead of the start of the new fiscal year at midnight Wednesday and revealed the numbers, including the Nets' penalty for splurging after trading for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett last year. In all, the Nets paid more than $197 million in salaries and luxury taxes this past season. Only three other teams had paid more than $90 million in total tax since its inception in 2001. ESPN.com

Andrew Wiggins, the first overall pick of this year's NBA draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers, has signed a shoe endorsement deal with adidas, sources have told ESPN.com. Sources with knowledge of the signing say the contract is a multiyear deal that comes with a guarantee of at least $2 million annually. ESPN.com

July 6, 2014 Updates

Notwithstanding any plans the league has to come back, Metro Vancouver is in a better position now to host an NBA basketball franchise and would be an increasingly attractive market over the next 20 years, according to a report from the Conference Board of Canada released Monday. Vancouver Sun

Hodgson and Lefebvre believe Vancouver could economically support an NBA team within the next 20 years, but not a Major League Baseball team. The city still wouldn't be a big enough market for big-league baseball, they say, although the authors believe Montreal could witness a return of big-league baseball by 2035. Hodgson and Lefebvre's 188-page report, Power Play: The Business Economics of Pro Sports, examines the economic conditions the cities that host major pro-sports leagues, the operating conditions of leagues and addresses the hot topic of who should pay for new pro sports facilities. Vancouver Sun

July 2, 2014 Updates

That’s a valid concern. The basketball side of the Nets’ business is projected to have lost $144 million over the 2013-14 season, according to a confidential memo the league sent to all 30 teams in early June. (Grantland has reviewed and verified the memo with a half-dozen sources.) If that strikes you as out of whack, that’s because it is. Grantland

The NBA expects nine teams will end up having lost money once luxury-tax distribution and revenue-sharing payments are finalized. The Nets, with that monster $144 million figure, are the biggest losers. Next in line? The Wizards, with projected losses of about $13 million. That’s right: The Nets lost $131 million more than any other NBA team last season. This is what happens when you pay $90 million in luxury tax for an aging roster and play in a market so large you are ineligible to receive any revenue-sharing help. Grantland

June 30, 2014 Updates

The Sacramento Kings today announced a retail partnership with adidas, the official outfitter of the National Basketball Association. As of July 1, 2014, adidas will manage retail operations for the Kings through the 2016-17 NBA season. “We’re thrilled to bring one of the world’s top lifestyle and sports brands to Sacramento,” said Kings President Chris Granger. “adidas’ unmatched expertise in sports merchandise and unparalleled customer service make them an ideal partner for the Kings. Together, Kings fans will better connect to the team through a truly exceptional and innovative retail experience.” NBA.com

June 26, 2014 Updates

If an athlete has been affiliated with the same brand since high school and AAU ball, it stands to reason that once endorsement opportunities present themselves, brand affinity may have an impact. While financial considerations will likely trump nostalgia, any edge a corporate brand can get in its efforts to secure the next Jordan or LeBron will have been deemed well worth it once the paperwork is signed and the pictures of the athlete wearing the company’s shoes make their way through social media. And it may be the best of both worlds for a select few. Andrew Wiggins’ AAU team, CIA Bounce, is sponsored by Nike, and his college team, Kansas, is sponsored by Adidas: two suitors he’s already affiliated with will compete for his services. The Fields of Green

June 25, 2014 Updates

The NBA remains the leader in diversity among professional sports leagues. According to a report released Tuesday, the NBA received an A-plus grade for racial hiring and B-plus for gender hiring on its annual Racial and Gender Report Card. The league received an overall grade of A. This is the sixth consecutive overall A grade the NBA has received in the annual report by the Institute of Diversity and Ethics in Sport. With Michael Jordan the Charlotte Hornets' majority owner and Vivek Ranadive the new controlling owner of the Sacramento Kings, the NBA is the first major pro league to have two owners of color. The league set records this season with assistant coaches of color at 46.7 percent and 48.4 percent of its referees. NBA.com

June 24, 2014 Updates
June 21, 2014 Updates

So if US Soccer's medical staff decides Clint Dempsey has to wear one on Sunday in Manaus vs. Portugal to protect his broken nose, Hamilton has a suggestion for the US national team captain: Use mine. The retired former NBA champion is apparently headed to Brazil with three of the plastic masks that became his trademark over most of his 14-year professional career, as he announced on his Instagram account. MLSsoccer.com

June 19, 2014 Updates

When the Charlotte Hornets unveiled their new uniforms Thursday, many fans noticed a small but telling detail: The NBA's ubiquitous red, white, and blue logo was missing from familiar position on the upper-chest area of the new jerseys. Instead, it appeared on the back, above the player names. The Hornets won't be alone. All NBA teams will be wearing the NBA logo on the back for the 2014-15 season, the league confirmed to ESPN.com. A league official called it a "stylistic move" but declined to comment further. ESPN.com

The move is sure to fuel speculation that the NBA is preparing to move ahead with its long-planned program of jersey advertising. Removing the league logo from the front of the jersey will clear more space for an ad patch and remove what would otherwise be a competing visual icon. Annual revenue from jersey ads has been estimated to be in the $100 million range. ESPN.com

An inventor's mind with a salesman's drive, Bender walked into a Relax the Back store in Sugarland, Tex., one afternoon and met the manager, who told him he suffered from the lower-back condition sciatica. "Try this out," Bender told him, confidently handing him his MedPro. It didn't take long. The manager, so startled by its effectiveness, bought one on the spot. "He told me it eased his pain between 60 and 70 percent," Bender says. Indianapolis Star

Bender has partnered with Relax the Back and is now selling his MedPro (retail: $199) off his own website. The byproduct of Bender's imaginative mind that day in a Houston park has spawned a company — JB3 Enterprises — and a product that has propelled revenue growth of 40 percent month-over-month since December. He aims for more. While the current MedPro model has found a home among baby boomers (Bender himself sold 300 units his first two months), he hopes to soon polish off a model designed for serious athletes. Indianapolis Star

June 12, 2014 Updates

According to a person with knowledge of the situation, he recently earned more than $30 million — nearly $11 million more than his Heat salary for this season — by way of Apple's $3 billion purchase of the Beats Electronics company in which James was a part-owner. Translation: He can afford to pay the steep price it would take to make room for his longtime friend who entered the league with him in 2003. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the personal nature of the information. USA Today Sports

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