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NBA Teams Given Inventory Boost For Next Season

NBA Teams Given Inventory Boost For Next Season

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he NBA is giving teams a massive boost for next season, with new revenue streams being introduced to help teams offset steep losses from last season and limit financial hits, should games next season be played in front of a small crowd or even in empty stadiums.

Teams now will be able to sell the previously off-limit baseline apron areas near the baskets as new high-profile sponsorship inventory.

The baseline apron hard signage will only be allowed on local regional network broadcasts, while no decision has been made on extending signage to national broadcasts.

Previously, teams were limited to two global sponsorship deals, however as part of its International Team Marketing Program, the league will now allow teams to sell three global sponsorships.

The new program allows teams to include global advertising rights outside the U.S and Canada, after previously the league controlled all international sponsorship inventory.

The league also is easing restrictions on hard alcohol, casino and sports betting team sponsorships that would allow for greater TV visible in-arena signage in those categories.

Until now, hard alcohol, casino or sports betting team sponsors could not use team marks within the arena, but now deals in those categories will gain broader use of team marks inside the venue, adding more value to the sponsorships.

In addition, the NBA will now let teams create nongame live digital content for second-screen use to complement game broadcasts.

For example, a team could stream its in-arena halftime shows live during games on their team website or team app to complement game programming.

Other ideas include providing live nongame digital content during quarter game breaks such as interviews with former players.

The hope is that teams could sell sponsorships for the additional programming to drive more revenue.

What isn’t known is just how much revenue will be generated by the new inventory to help offset the roughly $1.5 billion leaguewide shortfall from the pandemic-shortened season and from any losses that would come from the upcoming season because of restrictions on fan access in arenas.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has said that attendance accounts for about 40% of the league’s total revenue.

Milwaukee Bucks president, Peter Feigin, said: “New revenue streams are critical.”

“This is going to be one to two years of digging out and figuring out credits and value adds.

“The more new and innovative thinking we can apply to creating new value for partners, the better off we’ll be.

“One of the benefits of this as an industry is that we’ll come out of it with new opportunities, because we’ve all been forced to rethink what everything looks like,” he said.

Cleveland Cavaliers president, Nic Barlage, said “These new opportunities showcase the willingness we have as a league and teams to continue to find innovative ways to drive value for our partners and fans.”

Teams can begin selling the new inventory immediately, but they may be challenged to get deals in place by the start of the upcoming season, which at press time had not yet been determined.

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