The NBA is prepared for its fan base to drop, as it did after the 1998-99 lockout, but they're on a mission to make sure fans know that "big things are coming."
After the '98-'99 lockout, average attendance dropped 2.2 percent and the NBA saw TV ratings drop for three straight years. In an attempt to avoid this after-effect the NBA is unveiling two new advertising campaigns that will run across all NBA broadcast and social media platforms. And I have to be honest, the first ad wasn't what I expected. Take a look for yourself...
The "Big Things" campaign will run through the first two weeks of the season. While it still has to be finalized, it could be followed by a second expected to replace the "Where Amazing Happens" campaign.
The league will also create fan-related game events to encourage those discouraged by the lockout; a similar tactic as the '98-'99 lockout where the league hosted open practices and team events.
David Stern told the SportsBusiness Journal, "It's hard to know about how the lockout has affected fan interest before Christmas. Let's see what the day looks like. Fans connect by coming to our games and watching them on television and buying our products."
NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver believes opening the courts by Christmas will help regain momentum from last season.
"I don't think we ever went past the point of no return in terms of fan interest and avidity," he said. "Christmas Day was the marker, and we are meeting that. Humbled as we should be, we think our fans will come right back. On the business side, our partners were all very supportive, and to them as well, I think it was important to return on Christmas Day. So I think we will have not lost a beat. I really think we will bounce right back."
Do you think the NBA will bounce back? Where does your loyalty lie?