Entries in NBA (7)


LeBron, New York Knicks Top NBA Jersey Sales

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Reigning MVP LeBron James has the best-selling jersey in the NBA, and the New York Knicks rank first in team sales for the first time in nearly a decade.

The rankings, which cover sales at the NBA’s website and flagship store dating back to April, reflect a surge in popularity for James, the Miami Heat superstar who gained notoriety for leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2010.

James edged past Derrick Rose, the Chicago Bulls point guard and previous jersey king.  Rose sank to fifth on the list, trailing Kevin Durant (No. 2), Kobe Bryant (No. 3), and Carmelo Anthony (No. 4).

Anthony’s New York Knicks are currently tied for first place in the Atlantic Division, but stand alone in the bi-annual sales survey.  They beat out the current NBA champions, the Miami Heat (No. 2), the Los Angeles Lakers (No. 3), and the Chicago Bulls (No. 4).  The Knicks last led NBA apparel rankings in 2004.

The Knicks’ success surely isn’t lost on Jeremy Lin.  The former point guard, who now plays with the Houston Rockets, saw his name fall to 15th on the list.

The rankings were released after Cyber Monday, in which the NBA reported its highest online sales ever.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Sponsorship Ads to Appear on NBA Jerseys

Patrick McDermott/Getty Images(LAS VEGAS) -- The NBA Thursday became the first of the four major U.S. sports leagues to allow sponsor
labels to be displayed on team uniforms.

On Thursday night, NBA officials announced after their Board of Governors meeting its tentative approval for small advertisement patches to appear on team jerseys beginning with the 2013-14 season, Advertising Age reports. Board members will vote formally on the jersey ads at the next board meeting in September.

The ads will appear as 2.5-by-2.5-inch patches in the upper left shoulder area on the front of the jerseys, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.  Adam Silver, NBA Deputy Commissioner told reporters Thursday at a press conference that guidelines for the ads will likely be in place at the commencement of next season, and that the ads will also appear on jerseys sold in stores.

The league expects the jersey ads across its 30 teams to generate $100 million per season, Silver said, according to Ad Age.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


NBA Top Draft Pick Anthony Davis Trademarks His Unibrow

Chris Graythen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Since he began his freshman year at the University of Kentucky, teammates exhorted basketball star Anthony Davis to shave his unibrow. They failed. A year later, as the expected top pick in this week's NBA draft, Davis is aiming to cash in on his refusal.

In anticipation of his imminent rise to national stardom, Davis trademarked the phrases "Raise the Brow" and "Fear the Brow." Widely expected to be drafted by the New Orleans Hornets in Thursday's draft, Davis said he saw profit potential in leaving his eyebrows connected.

"I don't want anyone to try to grow a unibrow because of me and then try to make money off of it," Davis told CNBC. "Me and my family decided to trademark it because it's very unique."

Davis will not even consider splitting his eyebrow in two as he begins racking up endorsements, he told ESPN, a partner of ABC News.

"It changes none whatsoever when I'm in the NBA," he said. "I'm not going to change who I am. It's me."

NCAA rules prevented Davis from exploiting his unibrow's brand value while he was playing for Kentucky, and the school's athletic department kept a tight leash on merchandise celebrating his uncommon facial feature.

Jason Schlafer, the athletic department's marketing director, said he sent about a half dozen cease-and-desist letters and placed twice as many phone calls to vendors who were "sprinting up to the line," close to infringing on the Kentucky Wildcats' trademarks.

At first, he said, he was concerned that T-shirts that said "Bow to the Brow" and "Brow Down" would offend Davis and his family because they, "highlighted what may be perceived as a negative feature."

"But then we saw his mother in a 'Fear the Brow' T-shirt, and she had penciled in a unibrow on her face," Schafler said.

Davis played just one season for the Wildcats before becoming a nationally discussed NBA prospect. One of only four freshmen ever to win the NCAA's Most Outstanding Player award, Davis led the Wildcats to their eighth NCAA championship in the 2011-12 season.

On June 15, he signed Arn Tellem of Wasserman Media Group as his agent. Reached Tuesday, Tellem declined to comment.

Davis's only current endorsement is a draft-night deal with Sprint's NBA Android app.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mark Cuban: Richest 1% Should Pay More

ABC News(DALLAS) -- Since he turned his boyhood stamp collection into a money-making scheme and asked to move out of the house at age 11, entrepreneur and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban says he’s been driven not by the rewards of business, but the tooth-and-claw competition of making high-risk deals.

Selling powdered milk door-to-door may not have been his finest hour, but he says it gave him some of the skills that eventually led to a $6 billion payday. Whether it was luck or delusion that convinced Yahoo to hand over that much stock for Cuban’s in 1999, he still had the foresight to diversify before the tech bubble burst. Some of his partners lost it all, while he sits atop a multibillion dollar sports and media empire.

Over lunch at his favorite burger joint this winter, the famously candid mogul bounced from topic to topic, dispensing to ABC’s Bill Weir opinions on politicians, business leaders and the state of the nation. When his lawyer dropped by the table to discuss buying the Los Angeles Dodgers, Cuban wrinkled his nose and shook his head at outgoing owner Frank McCourt’s demands.

“He wants to keep the parking lots and lease them back at a ridiculous rate,” he said. “And he’s sued everybody he’s ever gone into business with.”

In a wide-ranging interview in his owner’s suite, Cuban had no qualms wading into election-year politics and calls for “the 1 percent” to pay more in taxes. Unlike many of his fellow billionaires atop the Forbes list, he agrees. And the attached video clip explains why:

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Watch ABC News Nightline anchor Bill Weir’s full interview with Mark Cuban on Nightline TONIGHT at 11:35 p.m. ET/PT

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Jeremy Lin: Basketball Star and Business Sensation

Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post(NEW YORK) -- Jeremy Lin is no longer just a basketball sensation. The New York Knicks star also has become a global business phenomenon.

Thanks to Lin's fairy tale February, ratings of Knicks' television broadcasts have soared 70 percent, and the publicly traded stock of Madison Square Garden has hit a 52-week high. Lin's T-shirt is now the No. 1 seller on, and arenas around the NBA are selling out tickets to Knicks games.

That is just the beginning. Nike will soon roll out a new promotional campaign built around Lin, industry sources say – the first of what is expected to be a parade of endorsements built around the 23-year-old point guard.

Estimates of Lin's economic impact begin at tens of millions of dollars, and reach into the hundreds of millions of dollars, especially if he continues to perform at a high level.

"This hurricane of 'Linsanity' has swept across not just the fans of the NBA, but also across the nation, and to a significant degree, it has engulfed China and parts of Asia as well," said Marc Ganis, president and founder of SportsCorp, a Chicago-based sports business consulting firm. "I don't believe we have ever seen anything like it."

The Lin legend reached a new level Tuesday night when he drained a three-point shot with less than a second to go to lift the Knicks to a come-from behind 90-87 victory over the Raptors in Toronto.

It was the Knicks' sixth straight victory – all led by Lin, who barely played until desperate coach Mike D'Antoni summoned him from the bench 11 days ago against the New Jersey Nets.

Lin, the first Taiwanese-American to play in the NBA, has scored more than 20 points in each of the six games he's played, including 38 against Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers last Friday night. Heady stuff for a player who was not offered a scholarship coming out of high school, went undrafted after graduating from Harvard, was cut by two NBA teams and was close to being cut by the Knicks. Lin demonstrated his business appeal Tuesday night in Toronto where the Raptors used his visit to hold an "Asian Heritage Night" and enjoyed a rare sell out.

Ganis said the NBA "will be the big winner here," estimating his success will be worth from $10 million to $20 million a year for the league.

The league's Asian television partners already are adding Knicks games to their broadcast schedules. Sales of NBA merchandise are likely to surge across Asia, and the league likely will pick up new sponsors, Ganis said.

Beyond the tangible value to the Knicks, the NBA, apparel manufacturers like Nike and assorted sponsors, Linsanity also means important revenue for a host of small businesses, from sporting goods stores to Chinese restaurants holding Lin viewing parties. Even companies making knockoff apparel are likely to see a windfall.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


NBA Lockout: Cities, Small Businesses Take Hit

NBA commissioner David Stern. (Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)(NEW YORK) -- NBA franchise cities across the country are struggling as the league’s owners and players continue to battle over billions of dollars in New York.

On Monday, the NBA Players Association rejected a new labor proposal, prolonging the five-month-long formal lockout, and announced that it would disband in order to file an antitrust suit against the league.

The news, which threatens the 2011-12 basketball season, was not only sobering to fans -- local officials say they are having a tough time drumming up the revenues usually brought in by the games.

“It’s a residual effect,” said Peter Auger, city manager of Auburn Hills, Mich. “It’s all in the mom-and-pops [stores] and the little places that are hurting.”

The Palace in Auburn Hills is usually packed with about 22,000 people ready to watch the Detroit Pistons. Auger told ABC News Radio that events like concerts and the circus did not bring in the same volume of people night after night. He said bars and restaurants in the area also were suffering.

“Those places are down 40 [percent] to 60 percent,” he said. “We’re still hopeful that they can have a season, number one. People around here love their basketball but those businesses too could use a shot in the arm around now.”

Tom Penn, an ESPN basketball analyst and former vice president of basketball operations for the Portland Trail Blazers, said the league, players and other entities stood to lose a combined $4 billion if the season was canceled. He said the postponed NBA season was being felt by everyone, from the league’s bigwigs to the part-time arena workers.

According to the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, each Oklahoma City Thunder game brings $1.3 million to the local economy. The Atlantic reported that the San Antonio Spurs generated $95 million and the Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce says the Grizzlies and its arena generated $223 million in 2010. Cleveland Cavalier ticketholders reportedly spend more than $3.7 million per home game.

“Security, ticket takers, ancillary businesses,” Penn said. “A lot of really good people are not able to work right because of this unfortunate dispute. This is real for them.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Coming Soon: Sponsor Names on Pro Sports Jerseys?

Photo Courtesy -- Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- American sports fans may soon see sponsor names appearing on team jerseys, according to 

The 20 English Premier League soccer teams generated $155 million by selling ad space on their jerseys as reported by Sports Illustrated, causing the four major American sports leagues and its corporate partners to consider and even debate the idea of sponsor patches on team uniforms.

Mark Cuban, owner of the National Basketball Association's Dallas Mavericks, told Advertising Age, "It's definitely on the horizon.  I think it's more an issue of 'how much' rather than 'if' [it happens]."

The National Football League currently allows for teams to sell advertising on practice jerseys, with more than half of the 32 franchises taking advantage of the opportunity.  However, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told Ad Age the league has no plans to allow sponsor patches on game jerseys, despite being approached by major companies who say that "NFL jerseys represent the most valuable real estate in sports."

While a National Hockey League spokesman chose not to comment, Major League Baseball is perhaps the most opposed to selling sponsorship.  According to an email sent to Ad Age, an MLB spokesman wrote, "Baseball has a longstanding policy of not allowing corporate advertising on our uniforms for non-international competitions. We are continuing to monitor what appears to be an increase in the trend that places non-manufacturer corporate marks on uniforms."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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