Friday, May 9, 2014

Market Power: NBA Postseason Edition

The NBA postseason has been off to a thrilling start. With five out of the eight series in the first round going to seven games, you can’t ask for a more exciting start. There have also been some big headlines this postseason including Donald Sterling’s racist comments, Roy Hibbert’s disappearance for so many games and the Mark Jackson’s firing in Golden State after a first round exit to the Los Angeles Clippers. Even though there have been a number of headlines, I decided to take a different route by taking a look at which remaining players left in the NBA postseason companies should target to help market their company. I purposefully left out LeBron James and Kevin Durant in this because they are the two obvious picks. Here are my top three.

3. Russell Westbrook – probably the most athletic player in the NBA. Russell Westbrook has some of the most powerful dunks. I’m sure many of you have seen the Subway commercial with Russell Westbrook featured in it. With his success, more companies should be coming after him. With his crazy sense of fashion it clearly shows he is a unique individual and it could definitely help companies stand out.

2. Chris Paul – one of the fiercest competitors in the NBA. Chris Paul does not back down to anybody. Paul is a great leader as he was elected as the president for the NBA Players Union and not to mention a top floor general in the league. With the Donald Sterling saga, it is clear he was the leader of the silent protest. Great leader on the court as well as off the court, Paul would make a great player to be used as the main focus of a company’s marketing plans. Just look at State Farm with Chris and Cliff Paul. State Farm is known throughout the nation because of Chris and Cliff Paul. He is liked throughout the NBA and a very well spoken man.

1. Damian Lillard – has anyone’s stock gone up more than Lillard’s this postseason? Lillard is playing amazing basketball and topped it off in the first round by clinching the series with an incredible buzzer beater against the Houston Rockets. Being in the playoffs for the first time, he is definitely making a statement that he is one of the premier players in this league. There were rumors earlier this year that Damian Lillard was going to opt out of his deal with Adidas. Adidas did not let that happen by extending his contract that can be up to 10 years worth up to $100 million. It’s clear Adidas wants to make Lillard the face of the company and that is not a bad choice at all. There will definitely be companies calling Lillard this offseason to help market their company unless he falls off the face of the earth the rest of the postseason

Besides these three, there are still many others who would make a good face of a company. Blake Griffin, Dwyane Wade, Paul George, and John Wall to name a few, but I would take the three I discussed before any of them. Lillard and Westbrook are up and coming stars while Chris Paul is in his prime and as consistent as they get. These are my first three preferences, but who (besides LeBron and Durant) would you want to be the face of your company?


Alan Liang is a junior Drexel Sport Management major with minors in Marketing and Business Administration from West Windsor, NJ. Alan scores baseball games for Baseball Info Solutions and is currently on co-op with the Philadelphia 76ers in the camps department. Follow Alan on Twitter @AlanLiang29. 

Connect with Alan on LinkedIn.

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