A Hot Kommodity: NBA we see you!

In order to create a successful environment of innovation, diversity is essential. The National Basketball Association (NBA), is taking some tiny baby steps toward doing just that. The NBA chief innovation officer, Amy Books has formed a committee to analyze new potential initiatives for the league. These committee members are to include a combination of business and basketball operations in the organization- mostly general managers and executive leadership. On a basic level, Brooks wants the game to stop talking the talk, and walk the walk. The world of sports itself is becoming such a fast-paced rat race to the next big thing. And if the NBA doesn’t pool its resources, cut the middle men, and keep up with the insatiable appetites of its fan base they are bound to lose traction.

            What makes this committee stand out from others is its diverse group of individuals. Pulling groups from various areas of the organization that have never had the opportunity to bounce ideas off one another is innovation 1-0-1. Brooks states that for success, “collaboration across the league and teams is key to drive innovation” (Lombardo, 2017). This isn’t the first time the NBA has tried this diverse approach to build successful initiatives. In 2016, a collective bargaining committee of team presidents was constructed by Adam Silver. Although the details or agenda of this new committee have not been made public (their first meeting was held December 5th), it’s clear that Brooks is following in Silver’s footsteps and learning some tricks from his previous committees.

            I have been following the business dealings of the NBA for some time now since developing my interest in sports events and marketing, and I can say that though the NBA is a completely established and brilliant organization, it does not compare to worldly reach and level of some other sports leagues in the business (FIFA and the NFL to be specific). However, I am still incredibly excited for the future of basketball. Specifically, the NBA Tech Summit coming up in February in New Orleans. There is so much that can be done in the game of basketball that connects fans, coaches, players, and athletic trainers. I recently attended a lecture with Lara Price and Andy Speiser of the Philadelphia 76ers. They spoke about the incredible technology they use at the new 76ers Training Complex in Camden, NJ to improve the lifestyle, diet, and overall training regimes for their players. If all of the teams aren’t using technology like this to their advantage, then this needs to be addressed. I would love to see the committee produce some innovations in technology like this.

            After reading this article in the Sport Business Journal, expectations still don’t seem very clear as to the outcomes that Brooks is searching for from establishing this group of individuals. It’s a great change of pace, and I am excited to see what may come from this, however it all seems very vague. I think it’s important to note that bringing these folks in with a like-minded goal can help mesh and mingle the different priorities that these groups have historically had. In the end, everyone wants to grow, and everyone wants to make the business more money. Now in a few months when it comes out that all this committee has been up to is chats about who has a better point guard over coffee and donuts, then I can’t say I would be surprised. I can only hope for the best for Amy Brooks and her new innovative dream team! 

A Hot Kommodity: Super Bowl #52



The Super Bowl is quickly approaching, and it’s that time of year for the events to begin rolling out. The Sports Business Journal has announced some of the unique ideas coming out of Minnesota in preparation for the big game. The president of Nomadic Entertainment Group, Jack Murphy, is at it again with a highly unique concept to turn the Minneapolis Armory into a music festival location. Just blocks from U.S. Bank Stadium, his hope it to create a unique 3-day music event in the 82-year-old downtown eye-sore. The space itself is 300,000 square feet of open space which  had been used as a parking garage. Creating something out of almost nothing is not an easy feat for the Nomadic Entertainment Group. 

In past years, Jack Murphy and his team have built amazing relationships with big name sponsors to help spread the word of their Super Bowl events, brand the events, and assist with expenses. So far, this year DirecTV has been announced as the title sponsor for the evening before the big game. This happens to the be the biggest and most expensive sponsorship level for the television provider. It’s great to see them signing back on for the twelfth straight year in a row. There was a bit of apprehension about the deal because of AT&T’s acquisition of DirecTV back in 2015.

It’s clear that what Jack Murphy, The Nomadic Entertainment Group, and On Location Experiences are doing what it takes to keep sponsors coming back again and again for the right reasons.

            The original Super Bowl events put on my Jack Murphy, were receiving title sponsorships in the eight figures! But after consideration to spread the wealth, the one big Saturday evening event, has since scaled into a three-day music festival for the masses. This year’s exclusive party will most likely sell out quickly to its expected 2,000-plus guests at the price of $250 each for general admission. What I would give to be in that room for this event! The teams are incorporating so many unique aspects to the event space including a technology showcase in the exterior waiting area as guests arrive. This keeps them out of the freezing Minnesota cold, and puts them smack dab in front of products. With the starting price of tickets at $250, I am almost certain this is the ideal group of A-list consumers to expose to AT&T products.

               Another cool note mentioned in this article was the Mystic Lake Casino. This Club Nomadic feature in Minneapolis is 26 miles southwest of downtown. The hotel resort is going to feature four nights of music and entertainment in a 64,000 square foot pop-up party. How cool is that? I cannot image the skills and expertise going into both of these events. It’s a phenomenal feat for Jack Murphy and his team- though not impossible. I have spent some time researching On Location and Nomadic Entertainment Group in the past, and it is truly a dream of mine to assist with the creative teams of some of the phenomenal events they host year round.