HoopsHype Business rumors

October 16, 2014 Updates
October 15, 2014 Updates
October 14, 2014 Updates

According to various reports, the players want a higher percentage of BRI in light of this new television deal, and the owners want to lower that percentage even further. The players had a 57 percent share of BRI in the previous CBA. This disagreement seems to point to a potentially cataclysmic conflict. "The owners are going to be in for a long winter," one source close to the union said about the possibility of players giving back any percentage of revenue. "It's inconceivable to me given the give ups in the last deal that owners will seriously come back and want to have more. It ain't happening." VICE

But would the middle and lower classes of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) be willing to potentially sacrifice a season for provisions that would not affect them? Not likely. They make up the majority of the NBPA, and the fight will revolve around their needs, with the star players playing a visible, albeit removed role. "What's the basis for changing them?" the source close to the union said of eliminating max contracts. "That area is working fine." He added: "I don't think those kinds of issues are likely to be the focal point. I think the focal point will be the split over revenues and over licensing rights." VICE

Sources familiar with the TV deals admit both networks pushed hard to be allowed to sell ads on team jerseys outright, but the league balked at handing over the potentially lucrative rights. Under the new TV deals, NBA teams maintain the rights to sell the jersey advertising, which has an estimated value ranging from around $800,000 for small-market teams like the Memphis Grizzlies to more than $10 million for large-market teams like the Los Angeles Lakers. Sports Business Daily

However, Amar’e Stoudemire expressed a view that might become a sticking point for players: wearing a brand on the jersey that clashes with a sponsorship deal the player already has. “It all depends on the players,” Stoudemire said before Monday’s preseason home opener against the Toronto Raptors at Madison Square Garden. “A lot of players have endorsement deals. So it could be a conflict of interest, if you ask me. It depends on the company I’m in bed with. I could be endorsed by a company that’s not sponsored by the NBA, so that could be a conflict of interest.” New York Daily News

October 13, 2014 Updates

The union is not likely to go quickly when assessing the relative pros and cons of such a proposal. With new National Basketball Players Association Executive Director Michele Roberts less than two months into the job, there's a need both for management and the rank and file to take stock -- not to mention the high-profile and powerful agents who would need to be persuaded not to act in their high-profile and powerful players' interests. "Contracts don't have to be guaranteed, anyway," one prominent agent texted over the weekend. "They can decide who receives guaranteed contracts in every negotiation." "True," I texted back. "But you wouldn't let none of your guys be the guinea pig going forward." "No sir!" the agent replied. NBA.com

October 11, 2014 Updates

The National Basketball Association, which recently inked a lucrative media rights deal, will increase its marketing budget as it looks to lure more casual fans, according to the league's new chief marketing officer. Some of the new spending will back the league's season-long campaign, which debuts Saturday and will run on a broader set of networks than in years past, said CMO Pam El, who joined the NBA in August after stints at insurance companies State Farm and Nationwide. "We are going to be much more aggressive with our marketing. We want to go after a larger fan base," she said in an interview. Advertising Age

October 9, 2014 Updates

Consider that O’Neal, 42, earned more than $21 million last year through his many business partnerships and his TV work, his management team said. And while several retired athletes make more — Michael Jordan collected $90 million last year, according to a recent survey by Forbes — few can seemingly compete with the volume and variety of O’Neal products. Representatives from 19 companies showed up for the Shaq Summit. Shaq knows that it might seem like a lot of Shaq, except that he says he turns companies down. His name goes only on things that he likes, he said. Such as his Dunkman backpacks. And his soon-to-be-released line of Capelli slippers. And all four flavors of Soda Shaq. New York Times

October 8, 2014 Updates

Forbes estimates LeBron James has replaced Tiger Woods as the athlete with the top brand value. The magazine said Tuesday the brand of the Cleveland Cavaliers star is worth $37 million — the amount his endorsement and nonbasketball earnings exceed the average of the NBA's top 10. Woods had topped athletes on Forbes' Fab 40 list each year since 2007. Nike is estimated to be the most valuable sports business brand, with its worth pegged at $19 billion. Forbes said the value of the name increases Nike's worth from $52 billion to $71 billion. Associated Press

Some say winning fixes everything. For James that seemed to be the case. The more he won, the more marketable he became. He was no longer the villain, and he was about to take control of how he was portrayed off the court. LeBron, Maverick Carter and LRMR have been highly engaged with the development of LeBron’s most recent marketing campaigns. As pointed out by Michael Wilbon, LeBron has used non-traditional marketing channels for his brand activations. For Champs, James has a digital media-only deal. His Dunkin Donuts campaign aired only in Asia. James was also extremely involved with the production of his Beats By Dre commercial. The Fields of Green

James and LRMR understand that the marketplace is shifting. It is no longer enough to star in a television commercial during the Super Bowl. Athletes must engage consumers in myriad ways: digital and social media, streaming content and athlete-to-fan interaction. The fact that LRMR has recognized and succeeded in this space provides more value to LeBron’s partners. All of these endorsements have added up for LeBron, and this is likely just the beginning. LeBron heading back to Cleveland makes him even more likable. James already has deals with Nike, McDonalds, Samsung, Beats by Dre, Dunkin Donuts and Audemars Piguet watches, and he is in position to add more if he chooses. With Maverick Carter at his side, we know that whatever LeBron chooses will align with his marketing strategy. The Fields of Green

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