The Business of the NBA Finals – Part 6

The Advertisers

With so many entertainment options available today—ranging from 500+ cable channels and pay-per-view programming, to online multiplayer games and mobile content—advertisers often have difficulty reaching men ages 18–49.. But this audience flocks to marquee sports events like the NBA Finals, which, as a result, commands premium advertising rates.

Current NBA Marketing Partners:

  1. adidas
  3. Anheuser-Busch
  4. Cisco
  5. The Coca-Cola Company
  6. FedEx
  7. EA Sports
  8. Gatorade
  9. Haier
  10. Kia Motors
  11. Lenovo
  12. Lamisil
  13. McDonald’s Corporation
  14. NIKE
  15. Right Guard
  16. SIRIUS Satellite Radio
  17. Spalding
  18. Southwest Airlines
  19. Toyota
  20. T-Mobile
  21. Wrigley’s

Most primetime advertising is sold during the “upfront” marketplace, when network executives, sell airtime to advertisers several months before the television season begins, though, the season for sports and the NBA Finals in particular is typically spread out over a yearlong schedule. Some inventory is sold after it’s known which teams will play in the championship series. This year’s matchup between the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers will likely draw higher ad rates because of the teams’ infamous rivalry and the larger media markets in which the games are being played. Figures for 2008 won’t be available until the series is over, but the average cost for a 30-second commercial aired during last year’s Finals was $389,000, lower than commercial costs of other championship games:, Advertising during the 2007 World Series averaged $425,000; the NCAA men’s basketball championship cost businesses an average of $1.3million, and the rate for a Super Bowl XLII spot was a whopping $2.7million. The best of seven series is sure to keep viewers glued to their sets as the Lakers were able to slice into the Celtics lead with an 87-81 victory over visiting Boston yesterday. Kobe Bryant was the standout with 36 points. Game four is tomorrow night in Los Angeles. Advertisers, eager to brand their products through NBA marketing deals, often create exclusive relationships in categories that include apparel, airlines, automotive, malt beverages, casual dining restaurants, and overnight delivery services. During the Finals, most sponsors set up special promotions to capitalize on their products’ increased exposure. For example, T-Mobile, as the official wireless service provider of the NBA, will host a Finals Player of the Game contest. Each night of the series, fans will be prompted to go to or to send a text message naming their choice of top athlete. Voting will continue through the end of the fourth quarter when the winner is announced on ABC. While deal terms were not disclosed T-Mobile’s senior manager of sponsorships, Jocelyn English, said, “The NBA Finals are a good fit because [the league’s fans] are who our customers are. They are multi-generational and tech-savvy. We want to reach the 18–30-year-old youth market, as well as the family segment of 30–45-year-olds. Our business goal is to generate awareness and consideration. When it’s time for NBA fans to purchase phones, we hope they’ll consider T-Mobile.” Despite last year’s lowest rated Finals, in which a dismal 9.3 million viewers tuned in to watch the San Antonio Spurs sweep the Cleveland Cavaliers in four games, English said, “We’ve had double-digit increases in [recognition], since we started working

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13 Responses to The Business of the NBA Finals – Part 6

  1. Love says:

    I agree that in order to avoid many headaches down the road, your spouse need to be supportive of your business vision.

    Thanks for all the tips

    • Ransford says:

      It would be niece but not always the case. It’s important to prove the business to your spouse, one of your #1 critic. Win them over and you are well on the way.

  2. Jeannie0ne says:

    U guys are the best, these tips is so informational. THANKS, THANKS,

  3. Karen says:

    Super tips

  4. Jonymor says:

    Thank you again for taking that extra step in guiding us. I love your classes.

  5. Ransford says:

    It is always the wise thing to do: Think ahead by getting funding before needing it. One of the reasons I think that it’s important to incorporate your business in the early stage of development. Corporate credit is easier than personal. 

  6. L morton says:

    Great tips here!

  7. Sandra Butler says:

    Smart entrepreneurs don’t roll the dice and risk everything…

  8. Adamah Ruach says:

    Thought I would go over these again…

  9.  Wow, Lynnette you are on point with this advice.

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