How to merchandise: The NBA way

As sports coverage has developed, so has the way in which the common fan can feel incorporated in the mystic of their favorite teams. The rapid expansions of media have lead to constant exposure to teams and players, exposure that surpasses international and even language barriers. The hardest decision for the heads of leagues or franchises is how to make as much money off of their rampant fan bases. Enter the NBA marketing heads. Want to capitalize on success or a marque player? Sell anything and everything in as many colors and varieties as possible. The monopoly that professional sports hold on their merchandise makes it easy to price fix the plethora of jerseys, hats, hoodies and whatever else they can find a willing buyer for. The most recent example are the NBA’s deemed player “nickname” jerseys in which players on elite teams choose what nickname they want to wear on the back of their jersey during a marquee game in the season. For example Lebron James had “King James” on the back of his. Why make jerseys like this for a player to wear for only a single game? If everyone already buys the jerseys of their favorite players for prices over $100 why make more? ┬áif you can sell the normal version, then a special, limited edition version is still going to be a hot commodity. A monopolistic firm structure allows this. With the growing devotion sports fans across the globe, the weird products are going to keep getting made and purchased. Why someone would want to buy a Ray Allen “Jesus Shuttleworth” jersey is beyond me, the NBA executives will take it. Money is money and people will buy just about anything to support their team no matter how outrageous.

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3 Responses to How to merchandise: The NBA way

  1. machacea says:

    The NBA merchandise is just another example of a large corporation knowing exactly what their consumers want and how much they are willing to pay for it. The cost for them to make Lebron one new jersey is little to none compared to how many consumers want to buy that same jersey and that they are willing to pay two-fold, if not more for the cost the company incurs in producing the jerseys. I don’t think the NBA merchandising is a monopoly, mostly because there is an oligopoly of companies that produce their products like Nike and Adidas. But I could see how a person would think they are monopoly because there is no such thing as another company that owns professional basketball teams at that level, interesting to think about though.

  2. morrisje says:

    I caught highlights of the Heat game the other day and was wondering why Lebron had King James on his jersey. Didn’t realize it was a promotional thing the league was doing. I thought maybe Lebron had gone the Ochocinco route. Seems like a smart strategy to me. If it’s new and “cool” consumers will generally jump on board, especially “loyal fans”. I’ve witnessed this for years now with University of Oregon football jersey sales. Every year a new jersey design can be purchased in the Duck Shop. No shortage of buyers exist as the jerseys fly off the shelves. The University of Oregon has been well ahead of other universities when it comes to capitalizing on their brand. I read the other day that the UO has more Instragram followers than the next three universities combined. Seems the athletic department has figured out a way to increase demand for these products. I believe this would fall under affecting changes in tastes and preferences thereby shifting out the demand…

  3. Samantha Palmer says:

    No matter what school or team an individual roots for there will always be marketing schemes. Just the other day when I was in the bookstore, they had started selling Gary Payton NBA hall of fame merchandise. Now I can slightly remember Payton playing for the Heat in 2007 and he still holds the franchise record for the Seattle Supersonics, I also know he played for Oregon State, but I don’t know what it was like to watch him play for the Beavers, but sure enough the Gary Payton merchandise was flying off the wall because it is a special Oregon State Edition. Oh Nike and their clever schemes.

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