Sports Marketing & COVID-19 Effect on NBA Article Review

Pages: 25 (7445 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 11  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Sports  ·  Written: April 19, 2020


e., through social media influencing (Leder, 2019). Each of these goals is important for the company. First, customer retention allows the company to bond with its consumers over a sense of shared values. When the company shows it has the same values as the customer, i.e., the customer’s best interests, at heart, the customer is more likely to be loyal. Second, happy customers tell their friends about the company, which increases sales for the company. Third, repeat customers decreases the need to market to new customers, which saves the company on costs. Finally, social media influencing is free advertising.

Importance of Social Media to Sports Marketing

Social media is the most important marketing tool of any organization in the 21st century because it provides a direct bridge between the consumer or fan and the organization—whether athlete, manager, administrator, owner or president. Sports marketing is all about creating a link with the target audience and social media provides that link (Witkemper, Lim & Waldburger, 2012). It allows the organization to target fans directly and to answer questions, provide updates, disseminate and share information, and plug promotional material. It is also a way to inspire user-generated content.

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User-generated content refers to content that is posted and shared on social media that benefits the sports organization. For instance, a fan who takes a video of LeBron James doing something kind for a fan and then posts that video on YouTube is a type of user-generated content that makes LeBron James and the Lakers look great because it depicts them in a good light and makes other people want to come out and support the team and come to the games to see one of the all-time greats in action.

TOPIC: Article Review on Sports Marketing   COVID-19 Effect on NBA Assignment

Social media in sports marketing can be dangerous, however, as it is difficult to control a narrative once it hits social media. This why sports marketing teams have to be very quick to act on a story once it hits social media: if the narrative is being spun by people who do not have all the facts, the wrong picture of the organization can develop and ruin the organization’s reputation. This happened with the Lakers last year when rumors that Magic Johnson had offered the whole team for a trade for Anthony Davis. The story hit social media before the organization had a chance to defuse it and it hurt the locker room.

Ambush Marketing

Ambush marketing is when a company tries to hijack another company’s ad campaign, usually connected to a sporting event that already has the hijacked company as an official sponsor. Ambush marketing can seem malicious or in good fun, as some examples will show.

The first instance of ambush marketing occurred when Visa became the official sponsor of the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. Visa released a serious of commercials in which it stated that Visa would be the only card accepted at the Olympics—which was really on true if one was trying to purchase tickets. It was not true if one wanted to use a credit card for anything else. American Express took offense for good reason since the ad was misleading and released its own ad campaign that spoofed the Visa ad campaign by stating that if one is going to Spain this summer one only needs a passport—not a visa. Visa took offense and viewed this as parasitic marketing and sued (Shewan, 2020).

However, an example of ambush marketing that became good fun for the two companies and for their consumers was the case of BMW vs. Audi. BMW started a campaign that compared service stations at a BMW rally to paramedics at a chess tournament. Audi jumped on the poor analogy and compared BMW rallies to boring chess in a billboard. Instead of suing, BMW saw an opportunity to stretch the analogy and turn it into a game with Audi—the company threw up its own billboard across the street, with a picture of a BMW and the word “Checkmate” on the sign. Audi then put up another billboard that read, “Your pawn is no match for our king,” so BMW put up a blimp over the Audi billboard that read “Game Over” (Shewan, 2020). The ambush marketing by Audi turned into a game of good sportsmanship by the two companies.

Impact of COVID 19 on Baseball

The spread of COVID 19 through winter and spring of 2020 has delayed the start of baseball indefinitely in the US. By January, the virus had been reported in Washington state and a month later ballplayers were reporting to spring training. After a conference call with all 30 teams, Major League Baseball officials announced that the league would continue with spring training games and would still open the start of the season on March 26 as planned (Perry, 2020).

However, two days later, the governor of Washington, Jay Inslee, banned large group gatherings for the rest of the month, which meant baseball games were out. The Seattle Mariners began looking for alternatives for playing home games scheduled at the end of March. But then San Francisco announced a similar ban, which meant both the Giants and the Oakland A’s were now in the same position as the Mariners.

At the same time, the NBA was facing a crisis as two of its star athletes were diagnosed with COVID 19—Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell. The NBA quickly suspended the rest of its season and every other major league sport was essentially left to follow suit. MLB canceled the remainder of spring training games the next day and delayed the opening of the season. The planned date for Opening Day was pushed to the middle of May but nothing was made final. More athletes began to test positive for the virus. The draft was pushed back to July from June. A series meant to be played in London was canceled. So far MLB is still hopeful to get the season underway soon, but it all depends on when governors lift the stay-at-home order.

Impact of COVID 19 on Football

Fortunately for football fans—or at least for NFL fans—the season ended before COVID 19 struck down all sports, including NBA, which suspended the rest of its season, and MLB, which delayed the start of its season. The NFL had already concluded its season. However, the XFL was still going in its inaugural season and was looking to finish out the year strong. Then COVID 19 started shutting everything down and suddenly the XFL was forced to shutter its events and call the season a bust. Not long thereafter, the XFL was filing for bankruptcy—again, even after so much promising progress (Barrabi, 2020).

The NFL expects to hold its draft on schedule but the plan is for it to be held remotely with Roger Goodell doing it from his home. The NFL will likely open its season on time this year, barring any unforeseen outbreaks or second waves with the COVID 19 virus. However, many people are reporting that the outbreak has changed everything and that sporting events may be a thing of the past. At this point it is difficult to tell just how the pandemic will impact sports or the NFL fully. Currently, everyone is in a holding pattern and wait-and-see is the mantra of the day.

Should shelter-in-place orders be lifted in May, it is quite likely that the NFL will begin its season on schedule. Less certain is what will happen with summer and spring sports. The NBA’s season may be a wash, and MLB’s season may be truncated. However, the NFL is likely to be least impacted since the virus is striking the US during the offseason. Save the bankruptcy filing of the XFL, football fans have no real reason to be disappointed, though the XFL was showing signs of promise. Unfortunately, the pandemic put it out of the game before it could even really get started carving out a new niche in the professional football market.

Impact of COVID 19 on Basketball

The NBA was looking to finally see LeBron James back in the Finals, this time with Anthony Davis at his side—but now it seems as though that may not come to be. The season has been delayed indefinitely and though there has been hopeful talk of getting the games going back up again, right now that seems more like wishful thinking than anything. California’s Governor Gavin Newsom does not appear to be in any rush to open the state back up, which means Staples Center is closed until further notice. So if James is going to be pursuing one more ring it is going to have to be outside the state of California, where he now calls home.

Since the suddenly diagnosis of the Utah Jazz players Rudy Gobert and Donavan… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Sports Marketing & COVID-19 Effect on NBA" Article Review in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Sports Marketing & COVID-19 Effect on NBA.  (2020, April 19).  Retrieved December 8, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Sports Marketing & COVID-19 Effect on NBA."  19 April 2020.  Web.  8 December 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Sports Marketing & COVID-19 Effect on NBA."  April 19, 2020.  Accessed December 8, 2021.