Founded 75 years ago, the NBA is an organization rooted in innovation. Walter Brown, the owner of the Boston Garden, realized that it was possible to host basketball games most nights in major hockey arenas. This idea became a reality in New York City in June 1946. Three years later, the National Basketball League teamed up with the Basketball Association of America to form the National Basketball Association (NBA).
The NBA league is renowned for its game-changing plays, rivalries, and successful legacies. Both players and fans enjoy reliving and admiring key moments in basketball history, as well as reliving the excellence of former matches.
The NBA today is the most innovative globally, contributing to the growth of the game worldwide. As a pioneer in using technology to deliver content to fans across all forms of media, it’s also a leader in community development and social responsibility.
As a result, the NBA and society have a connection between them. The league alone has contributed to the sport reaching new heights and attracting fans worldwide.
The Global Recognition
In the 1970s and 1980s, the league was primarily made up of American-born players. But now, 108 of the 450 current players are international, making it an increasingly global sport.
Also, games are being played in countries like China, India, and Canada to expand their international reach. The 2019-20 season’s broadcast rights will reach 215 countries in 47 languages, resulting in a more engaging and immersive experience.
For his 30-year tenure as NBA commissioner from 1984 to 2014, David Stern is largely credited with the sport’s international expansion and digital presence.
China is among the countries where the NBA Events and Promotions Department is doing exemplary work. The United States is sending an important commercial message to countries where basketball is not as popular as soccer.
Although the international fans and the players were anything but commercial, they formed a deep bond. There’s a familiarity between the fans and the players; they know the colors and jersey numbers of favorite players, and they are enthusiastic supporters of the players and the team.
The Social Impact
The NBA global awareness program is called Basketball Without Borders. Using basketball to implement social change is the purpose of this program. It features some former and current coaches and players from different NBA teams.
Each year, young people of many economic, cultural, and national backgrounds come together to play basketball and learn about one another. In addition to teaching basketball, the program emphasizes healthy living and a forum for social issues.
Nine countries on five continents have participated in this program so far. A total of 250 members of NBA teams, coaches, and players from 30 different NBA teams serve as camp coaches for over 1200 youngsters from over 100 countries worldwide.
In addition to dormitories and basketball courts, the NBA has constructed clinics, laundry rooms, libraries, and computer centers for schools along with Habitat for Humanity homes. Besides basketball clinics, NBA offers literacy programs, HIV/AIDS awareness programs, Special Olympics clinics, Skills for Life in Box clinics, and Fitness Clinics. It also has numerous visits to schools, hospitals, clinics, and medical facilities.
It’s hardly surprising that the NBA is recognized globally with this type of personal interaction. In addition to mobilizing funding, talent, and materials toward specific projects, the sports organization achieves high visibility and personal outreach with the young people involved in the project.
The value of each team in the league exceeds $1.3 billion, while the value of the top three is more than $4 billion. Because of their high valuation, they can generate significant revenues from their respective locations.
Ticket sales, merchandise sales, and streaming rights to local radio stations are how teams generate revenue. Although this number may not seem like much, each team plays 82 games in a regular season, and an arena can seat around 15,000 to 25,000 fans per game. So the calculations sit right. In the 2016-17 season, the Golden State Warriors sold out 200 consecutive arenas while the Philadelphia 76ers reported 20,628 average attendance. It amounts to millions of dollars.
These revenue streams extend to fans and the general public as well. Particularly in the time around March Madness betting, when every game lover is looking for a jackpot.
The league has the youngest audience demographic of any sport. Therefore, the league must consistently introduce new and better ways to distribute content to make it more accessible and easy for young people to watch their teams play.