In the previous article ‘Role of Sports Logo Design’, the first of the series of articles on Sports Logo Designs, we have seen how and why companies – giant and dwarf alike – sponsor sports as a part of their publicity strategy. In this article, we are going see how and why companies sponsor basketball games.
Basketball is a relatively a new game invented by Dr. James Naismith, a Canadian physical education professor, in 1891. Some sports experts come up with another version that says this ball game had been known and had enjoyed considerable popularity for fifty years prior to Dr. Naismith’s invention!
However, there is yet another group of sports experts who relate this modern basketball game to a peculiar game played by ancient Aztecs in central Mexico in Central America centuries ago. The story goes like this:
“The Aztec Ball Game [taken from www.herloyalsons.com] One of the most popular Aztec games was Tlachtli. In this game, two teams played on a field shaped like an H between two walls. The field was divided in half and each team had its own part. The goal of the game was to get an 8-10 pound rubber ball to the other team’s side. To add to the challenge, only the hips and the feet could be used to move the ball. A stone ring was located at each side of the field. The first team to pass the ball through the stone ring of the other team was the winner of this game. Since this was one of the roughest of the Aztec sports, players wore leather belts in order to protect themselves from being hurt.”
Whatever be the origin of this game, according to Wikipedia, this game is (has become) one of the most popular and widely viewed sports in the world. And there are several international organizations promoting, conducting and regulating this game throughout the world, keeping the decency, dignity and popularity intact with rigid rules and regulations and continuous seasonal playoffs! Some of the most recognized and popular basketball organizations are: FIBA – The International Basketball Federation – (but known more commonly by the acronym), with over 51 national affiliated federations in Europe, is the world governing body for basketball; USAB – the USA Basketball – is the governing body for basketball in the States; NBA – National Basketball Association – the most famous men’s professional basketball league in the world, having been broadcast in 210 countries, is the officially recognized league by FIBA; England Basketball is the recognized organization; BBL – the British Basketball League, another of the several leagues; and, of course, most countries have federations of their own.
The FIBA, with its motto “We Are Basketball”, has several Corporate giants, such as bwin, champion, molten, mondo, Nokia, sinalco, tissot, zepter, as its Global Partners, sponsoring championships world over. And each of these organizations, leagues, federations, associations and teams has a basketball logo design of its own; we can see some of the most colorful and interesting logo designs here:
The following are the lively logos of the most popular sponsors of the basketball games:
After having a look at all these fantastic brand names and logo designs, some of us, mostly those who are not very familiar with this sport, are bound to wonder ‘Oh. Does this game enjoy so much popularity!’ and the answer is a big ‘YES’. A quick look at some of the statistics show us the enormous influence the game and the players have on the sports enthusiasts world over!
“In general, basketball players earn millions of dollars. The better players like Lebron James and Dwyane Wade will earn around $25 million a year, average players like Brad Miller will earn around $10 million a year, and rookies will earn from $800,000 a year to $2 million a year. Earnings vary widely. The top players can get millions, especially after adding in their endorsement deals. According to Forbes, in 2004 Michael Jordan made 35 million dollars; Shaquille O’Neal made 31.9 million; Kevin Garnett made 29.7; Kobe Bryant made 26.1; Grant Hill made 25.9; and LeBron James brought in 21.1.”
The most important prerequisite any game needs in order to attract potential sponsors is the viewership rate of that game. The following news items demonstrate what a crowd-puller the basketball game is:
Thursday, January 15, 2009
NBA viewership up double-digits on ESPN.
So far this season, ESPN has seen a solid bump in its NBA ratings. NBA games on ESPN are averaging a 1.2 U.S. rating (1.4 cable rating) and 1.7 million viewers, up 9% and 21% from a 1.1 (1.2 cable) and 1.4 million viewers through the same point last season. Last Friday’s Celtics/Cavaliers game drew 2.6 million viewers on ESPN, making it the second-most viewed NBA game of the season on the network.
Game 7 of Bulls-Celtics breaks viewership record Posted May 5 2009 11:27PM
ATLANTA (AP) — Game 7 of the Bulls-Celtics series has supplanted Game 6 as the most-watched first-round NBA playoff game ever on cable. TNT says Boston’s 109-99 win Saturday to end the exhilarating series was seen by 6.99 million people. That was the most viewers for a first-round game on broadcast or cable since the 2004 Lakers-Rockets Game 4 on ABC.The Bulls’ 128-127 triple-overtime victory in Game 6 on Thursday was seen by 5.35 million people. TV viewers went for NBA Finals in big numbers: “… Overall, the series drew 9.3% of U.S. households. That’s up 51% over last year’s Cleveland-San Antonio series, which was the lowest-rated Finals ever at 6.2. …”
More viewers watch NBA finals, Tony Awards…
“…The Lakers’ 101-96 overtime victory over the Magic in Game 2 Sunday averaged 14.06 million viewers, 4 percent more than watched the Celtics’ 108-102 Game 2 victory last year. Through two games, the finals are averaging 13.55 million viewers, 1 percent more than last year’s 13.44 million average.
CBS’ coverage of Sunday’s Tony Awards continued the trend of rising viewership for awards shows, averaging 7.43 million viewers, 15 percent more than the 6.27 million last year’s ceremony averaged. Viewership had also increased for ABC’s coverage of the Academy Awards, and CBS’ coverage of the Grammy Awards and Academy of Country Music Awards earlier this year. …”
When there are so many viewers watching this sport, naturally there are big anglers trying for huge hauls. The following postings in some websites give us some idea about the demand there is for the basketball league matches:
MOLTEN SECURES SPONSORSHIP OF BRITISH BASKETBALL LEAGUE
Under the deal, Molten’s new and distinctive, 12-panel G-Series basketball will become the exclusive and official BBL league and club ball. Valued at £150,000, the sponsorship package, which commences this month (September 2006), includes a supply of the Molten G-Series basketball and other Molten products as well as cash, which is to be directly invested by BBL in a scheme to develop basketball in the clubs’ communities.
From Allbusiness.com… Dell Nets College Basketball Tourney Sponsorship
“… The Dell Classic for Kids features Texas vs. Stanford and Notre Dame vs. DePaul. The games will be carried on ESPN. Some of the proceeds benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, said Scott Helbing, Dell’s vice president of global brand strategy, who added that Dell joined on as a sponsor when another corporate backer pulled out.??”This is an excellent opportunity to reach customers, said Helbing. “It was an easy decision, knowing Texas is playing in it, and [that] the other three are all real good programs.??”Our antennae are always up for sporting events. Our target in branding is executives. This is a great avenue to reach them,” he said. …”
A casual visit to the site http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/bw/2009-05/18/content_7785352.htm will enlighten us as to how this game is catching up and what business potential it has in Asian countries, especially in China!
And naturally, when so much is going on in this sports business arena, there is bound to be some envy, some bending the rules, some business rivalry, etc. For example:
A Massachusetts sportswear company has sued Nike and the U.S. basketball hall of fame, claiming breach of contract and fraud related to the manufacture and sale of sportswear linked to Michael Jordan’s upcoming induction into the hall.? SportsFuzion Inc filed the lawsuit in Massachusetts state court late on Monday and is seeking more than $10 million (6 million pounds) in general and punitive damages from Nike and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.?A Nike spokesman said company officials were reviewing the complaint, but believe it is without merit. Officials with the Hall of Fame could not be reached for comment.?The Millis, Massachusetts-based SportsFuzion said in court documents filed in the Norfolk Superior Court that in March 2006 it signed a contract with the Hall of Fame giving it exclusive worSpellBrandide rights to the organization’s trade names, logos, logo trademarks, designs and photos for use in sportswear through 2012 or later considering renewal rights.?The lawsuit also charges Nike with interfering with a contract and charges both parties with unfair and deceptive trade practices.?Jordan, considered one of the greatest players in the history of the National Basketball Association, as well as a popular marketer whose image drives sales for sneakers and other sportswear bearing his name, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in September.
And at Log Design Works, an international small business logo and website designers, one can see a number of sports logos which not only satisfied their clients but also amused their clients’ customers! For samples of marvelous sports logo designs, you are welcome to visit www.SpellBrand.com!!
Finally, here is a beautiful young sportsperson showing off her sponsors’ brand names and logos on her jacket. Hoping that you have enjoyed this article as much as you enjoy the game, I look forward to seeing you at my next posting on ‘Golf — Role of Basketball Logo Design’ at SpellBrand.