The National Basketball Association (NBA) have announced plans to relax their previously strict sponsorship restrictions with hard alcohol, casino and betting companies.
Up until this weekend, the leagues sides were not allowed any hard alcohol, casino or betting companies branding within the arena, but changes to these rules in order to limit the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic now means teams can.
Memphis Grizzlies have since become the first NBA franchise to announce a partnership with sports betting operator, FanDuel. The multiyear partnership means that FanDuel has now become the Official Sports Betting operator of the franchise, as well as becoming the Grizzlies Official Fantasy partner.
Teams will now also be able to sell baseline apron areas for sponsorship. This had previously been forbidden, and will for now only be allowed on local regional sports networks. A decision is yet to be made to whether this ruling will be extended for national broadcasts.
In addition, NBA sides will now be opening high-income new revenue streams that are being introduced to limit the financial impact that teams are having due to playing in front of limited numbers of fans, or even empty stadiums.
The league's commissioner, Adam Silver has stated that attendances account for around 40% of the NBA’s total revenue, however it still remains unclear whether fans will be allowed back into arenas in time for the beginning of the 2020/21 season. A report published by ESPN earlier this week stated the NBA could lose up to US$1b if the beginning of next season's campaign is delayed until January.
Author: Fred Dobberson