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deal w O via the NFL Players Inc. licensing- unit. "Since partnering in 2013, and have helped nearly 1,000 players connect with hundreds of brands to share campaigns, reaching more than 1 billion fans worldwide."

• The has named Shenzhen, as the host city for 2019-2028, a deal that includes the building of a 12K-seat venue, and doubling the prize money to $14M for the Top 8 singles players and Top 8 doubles teams.

• Overwatch League said that its first week of competition drew more than 10 million viewers via Twitch, MLG, and Chinese streaming partners ZhanQi TV, NetEase CC and Panda TV. Opening day had an average audience per minute of 408,000.

• Coca-Cola, International Speedway Corp. and Nascar have signed an extension to their partnerships under which Coca-Cola, would "continue its deep-rooted history in the sport by engaging racing fans across Nascar’s three national series and 12 ISC-operated race tracks" and events including the Coca-Cola 600 and the Coca-Cola 400. Coca-Cola-sponsored drivers include Austin Dillon, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman, Daniel Suarez and Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. Coca-Cola said it "has been involved with stock car racing for 50 years," and became an official partner with Nascar in 1998.

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Most Popular NBA Jerseys (Oct.-Dec. 2017)
1. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
2. LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
3. Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors
4. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
5. Kristaps Porzingis, New York Knicks
6. Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
7. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
8. Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers
9. Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs
10. James Harden, Houston Rockets
11. Lonzo Ball, Los Angeles Lakers
12. Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics
13. Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
14. Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
15. Jimmy Butler, Minnesota Timberwolves

Most Popular Team Merchandise
1. Golden State Warriors
2. Cleveland Cavaliers
3. Philadelphia 76ers
4. Los Angeles Lakers
5. New York Knicks
6. Milwaukee Bucks
7. Boston Celtics
8. San Antonio Spurs
9. Chicago Bulls
10. Oklahoma City Thunder
Source: NBAStore.com

The 67th NBA All-Star Game will take place on Sunday, Feb. 18 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. TNT will televise (8 PM ET)

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2018 NBA All-Star Game

East Starters: Giannis Antetokounmpo, DeMar DeRozan, Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, Joel Embiid
West Starters: Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, James Harden, DeMarcus Cousins
The All-Star teams will still feature 12 players from each conference, but the captains — James and Curry — will select the team rosters without regard for conference affiliation.

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Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
Wednesday
Jun012016

Warriors, Thunder, Spurs, Heat Find Fan Loyalty Entails More Than Winning

By Barry Janoff

June 1, 2016: "Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing," UCLA head football coach Harry "Red" Sanders was first quoted as saying some 65 years ago, a motivational phrase then made famous by legendary NFL head coach Vince Lombardi.

However, when it comes to fan loyalty in the NBA, winning is vital, but is only part of the equation.

“It’s important to keep in mind that teams don’t leap to the top of the loyalty roster just because they win a playoff or championship," according to Robert Passikoff, founder and president for Brand Keys, a New York-based brand engagement and customer loyalty research consultancy. "It adds to the loyalty bond, but you need the complete package.”

There are three other "emotionally based factors that must be taken into account" when measuring fan loyalty, according to Passikoff: Authenticity, Fan Bonding and History & Tradition.

Based on this criteria, the just released NBA 2015-16 Brand Keys Sports Fan Loyalty Index shows that the Oklahoma City Thunder have replaced the Los Angels Clippers as the team with the most loyal fans.

Oklahoma City, led by Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, jumped to the top spot from No. 6 last season, but had been as high as No. 2 in 2014.

The Clippers, led by Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, slipped to a tie for No. 5 with the Chicago Bulls.

The San Antonio Spurs were second, the Miami Heat came in at No. 3 and the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors No. 4 in the NBA Brand Keys Sports Fan Loyalty Index.

According to Brand Keys, making the NBA playoffs raises a team’s fan loyalty level by about 10%; winning the NBA title almost doubles that.

"When a team makes the playoffs, they always get a lift in fan loyalty,” said Passikoff.

The Warriors set an NBA record this past season with 73 wins; the San Antonio Spurs, which most recently won the league title in 2013-14, set a franchise record with 67 wins. The Thunder had 55 wins and reached the Western Conference finals against Golden State.

That led to more national TV game broadcasts, more marketing and more awareness for each team and their respective players.

According to Brand Keys, fan loyalty "correlates very highly with broadcast viewership, merchandise purchase and, to a certain degree, ticket revenues.

“Brand support has a lot to do with building concomitant fan loyalty and a larger viewer audience,” said Passikoff. “It becomes a symbol of genuine teamwork.”

In 2015, the top teams in the NBA Brand Keys Sports Fan Loyalty Index were the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Clippers, San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks.

In 2014 the top teams were the San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder, Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls and the New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks tied for fifth.

Neither the Knicks or the Mavs made the Top Five in 2016.

At the other end of the spectrum, the teams with the "least loyal" fans this past season were the New Orleans Pelicans (26), Utah Jazz (27), Milwaukee Bucks (28, following two previous Index's in which they were 27), Minnesota Timberwolves (29 for the second consecutive season) and Sacrament Kings (30 for the third consecutive season).

“It’s important to keep in mind that teams don’t leap to the top of the loyalty roster just because they win a playoff or championship."

How important are history and tradition?

“That’s one of the strongest drivers when it comes to fan loyalty in any Major League sport,” said Passikoff. “For some teams it accounts for the lion’s share of loyalty they possess.

"Think about a team like the Washington Wizards. Only a reasonable level of history and tradition keeps them out of the bottom five," said Passikoff.

According to Brand Keys, teams need to meet some minimum levels on all four factors to create reasonable levels of fan loyalty. If one of those drivers weakens, or disappears, so do high levels of loyalty.

“Want proof?” asked Passikoff, “Look at the Sacramento Kings.”

The Brand Keys Sports Fan Loyalty Index was "designed to help professional sports team marketers identify the key drivers of fan loyalty in their home and national markets by identifying emotional aspects surrounding the team that require strategic brand coaching."

Brand Keys said it assesses all of the teams in the league, interviewing 250 self-classified basketball fans from each of the 30 NBA teams’ immediate metropolitan areas.

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