User:James Bannon/Sponsorship in Basketball
The NBA and the NBL are two big basketball competitions that are held in Australia and the USA, the most recognisable competition being the NBA held in the US. There is lot of attention surrounding the two competitions with sponsors trying to outdo each other, TV stations trying to get the rights to air the game and players moving from team to team for more and more money. This paper will look at the sponsorship that goes into the NBA and the NBL, the media surrounding both competitions and the money that surrounds the competition as well. It will talk about players and the amount they get paid, sponsors and how they try and put their brand on the teams and players and how the media tries to get the top players to be on their talk shows or in their magazines.
What was created in 1892 by one Dr James Naismith has now become one of the most watch games in the world. With various competitions held throughout the world, the most recognisable being held in the US. The sport is Basketball and it is growing in numbers every year. The game has changed considerably since its inception over 100 years ago from rule changes to sponsorship deals, more and more people are becoming attracted to the game. The spectators could be drawn to the game because of all the advertising and the half time shows that are put on. With the ever growing sponsorships and trading of players for millions of dollars is the game getting better or worse? How is it that the superstars that we see on T.V such as Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, or even Andrew Bogut still love the game with all the media and sponsorship attention? Are they playing the game because they enjoy it or are they only doing it for the money? This essay will look at the NBL and the NBA and compare the sponsorship, advertising and how players move from team to team. Whether it is for the money or a political move do they still play because they enjoy what they do?
What was created in 1892 by Dr James Naismith has now become one of the most watch games in the world. With various competitions held throughout the world, the most recognisable being held in the US. The sport is Basketball and it is becoming one of the most popular and viewed sports in the world. The game has changed considerably since its inception over 100 years ago from rule changes to sponsorship deals, more and more people are becoming attracted to the game. The spectators could be drawn to the game because of all the advertising and the half time shows that are put on. With the ever growing sponsorships and trading of players for millions of dollars is the game getting better or worse? How is it that the superstars that we see on T.V such as Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, or even Andrew Bogut still love the game with all the media and sponsorship attention? Are they playing the game because they enjoy it or are they only doing it for the money? This essay will look at the NBL and the NBA and compare the sponsorship, advertising and money. Do the players play the game because they enjoy it or do they play for the money?
The NBA and NBL are two professional basketball codes. NBA in the US and NBL here in Australia, but the difference in sponsorship deals between the two are quite big, both in terms of individual player sponsorship and team sponsorship. The NBA has millions of dollars that they gain from companies that sponsor the game such as Nike, Adidas, AND 1, ESPN and Gatorade. These are just some of the NBAs’ sponsors. Players also receive sponsorship through other means as well such as endorsement deals and other promotions. Such as promoting Gatorade or PowerAde, T.V commercials for items such as cars and sporting equipment or even a particular brand of clothing or aftershave. Some companies even approach NBA players and ask them to be the face of their brand. Brands such as Gatorade and Nike are two of the main sponsors for the NBA. Nike provides a lot of the sporting apparel for the teams such as shoes, socks, and sweat bands. Whereas Gatorade on the other hand provides drinks for the players. These two companies find this beneficial due to the fact that there are thousands of fans that turn up to any one NBA game each week to watch their favourite teams and players. If they see their favourite players drinking a certain type of drink or wearing a certain type of clothing they are likely to go out and purchase that particular product. Nike is one of the biggest sporting apparel brands sponsoring the NBA. They have reached this point through good marketing strategies. Teaming up with one of the most recognisable faces in basketball, Michael Jordan and they have created a label called ‘Air Jordan’ which has come across as a big success. Each club also has their own type of merchandise which range from jerseys, to basketballs, towels, water bottles and scarfs. All of which bring money into the club. The most popular item being the team’s jersey with the players’ names on the back. Here in Australia there is not as much hype about the NBL. The NBL doesn’t attract nearly as much attention as the NBA. The sponsorship in Australia is different as well compared to the NBA, there are some similar sponsors but they’re not all the same. The official sponsors of the NBL are iiNet, One/Ten network, centrebet.com, AND1, Spalding, Rent Smart, and Virgin Blue airlines. Companies in Australia aren’t prepared to put the money into the NBL teams for the long run because they aren’t sure what the future will hold. A lot of companies that sponsor NBL teams are more interested in sponsoring the team instead of an individual player. But companies tend to sponsor teams for a season or two before moving on.
The media provides the night’s games live or delayed depending on where the games are being played, to your household that day or night. But the media also make a big deal out of something or someone that is not always true or necessary. Sometimes the media puts a lot of hype on a particular game or makes one particular person look like a superstar. This is not always a good thing for the athlete either because it adds extra pressure to them. The media isn’t just made up of T.V either. Other forms of media such as newspapers, magazines, radios and even companies that produce posters can pay an athlete a lot of money to be on their poster. The NBA is becoming more aware of using social media as a way of promoting the game and attracting more attention. Social media sites such as Facebook and twitter are becoming good areas to promote games and even attract players to be sponsors of the site and get paid to put up statuses and tweets. Media can help basketball by promoting the league, teams and the players. It can draw positive aspects towards the game by showing off the athleticism of the players and how they can be/are good role models on and off the field, but the media can also be a bad influence on the players. They could have lots of commitments to the media such as T.V talk shows, interviews for the papers and magazines and even have commitments to radio stations, all of which can interfere with the athletes’ personal space. So can players still enjoy playing the game without being hounded by the media every spare second they have free off the court? Most of the time they don’t like it. There has been a bit of media attention surrounding the NBA lockout and whether or not some of the NBA players should be allowed to play in the NBL while the strike is on so they can keep up their match fitness in case the lockout does finish before the end of the NBA season. If they do rule in favour on NBA players playing in the NBL, the NBL could suffer a future debt because the players are still looking to get paid a large sum of money. The NBL doesn’t attract quite as much attention as the NBA partly due to the fact that not as many people follow basketball in Australia. The NBL are starting to use facebook and twitter and have even put up some of the weeks highlights on YouTube both from individual games and from every game of the week.
Money plays a big factor both here in the NBL and in the NBA in the US. Players being traded from team to team or even moving to another club for a very large sum of money. The NBA is a very appealing place to have a career as a basketball player because it is one of the best competitions in the world. The best players in the NBA are reported to earn millions of dollars. Partly because there is money to spend on teams and players, but it has some of the best players in the world competing in the same competition. It is said that the number one drafted rookie in their first season in the NBA, their pay is set around $4,429.90 US for the season. That is only for the first season. It’s set to rise each year that they are contracted to play with the team. At the end of their third season with the club if they wish to continue onto their fourth year with the club their salary is set to rise another 26.1% on top of their third year salary. If they are good enough to earn a permanent contract after that their contract payment then rises 30% over their fourth year salary. As well as sponsorships and endorsement deals their salaries could even be higher than that. In Australia you don’t see too many rookies starting their carriers’ in the NBL compared to the US, this is because in Australia the NBL is considered a semi professional league. Players still get paid to play, they just don’t earn as much as players in the NBA would. While the NBL consist of a lot of Australian basketball players, there are a fair few players coming over from the US to help boost the sport in Australia. But they are also offered a large amount of money in return for their services. There was a move a while ago where US player LeBron James moved to Miami Heat from the Cavaliers. There was some speculation whether he would or he wouldn’t move, but in the end he did. Some say it was due to a large sum of money offered his way others beg to differ. It is said from LeBron James’ camp that he decided to move after a seven year stint with no luck at winning a championship and gaining a ring. It seems as though players are willing to move to other clubs for higher amounts of money and are not too worried about club loyalty or sticking with team mates that they may have played with for years.
Sponsorship plays a bit part in professional sports these days and basketball is a prime example of it. With big companies sponsoring both teams and individual players their brand will get them the attention that they want. What sponsors get in return for spending thousands of dollars on players is the publicity that they want. They want to be known for supplying their brand to the best player, then being ‘the best brand’. They reach their audience by giving out free products at the games, by showing their advertisements courtside, having the commentators say their brand name during the breaks and by sponsoring the game it’s self. Without sponsorship in both professional basketball leagues there would be a big financial hole.L and the NBA would be getting a lot of recognition particularly in the NBA, partly because it is one of the biggest sporting competitions i Business’ that sponsor both the players and the teams both in the NBn the world, but also because people from all over the world watch it.
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