Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Market Power: NBA Rookie Edition

The NBA postseason is coming to an end with the finals beginning this week. It is a rematch of last year’s thrilling finals between the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs. It’s going to be a dogfight. Even though the finals will be going on, June 26th is what many of the bottom dweller teams are looking forward to being the NBA draft. This year’s draft has a ton of talent, but does talent translate into marketability? Earlier I discussed the three players left in the playoffs I would target for marketing. Now I will take a look at three NBA soon to be rookies and why I would choose them to market my company.

3. Dante Exum – Exum is one of the more intriguing prospects in the draft. He is still kind of a mystery to what he can actually do at the highest level but all signs are pointing to him being a successful point guard. Similar to Michael Carter-Williams, Exum is a taller point guard being 6 foot 6 inches tall. Coming from Australia will help his marketability. Coming from an international background definitely has helped some people, just look at what Yao Ming did coming from China. I don’t know if he’ll have big a splash as Yao Ming did in terms of market power, but he will definitely get the looks from some companies. Adidas has already signed him to a deal as they want to keep up with Nike. It will be interesting to see how he does in the NBA and what kind of companies will be calling him before he even steps foot in an NBA game. 

2. Andrew Wiggins – Freak of an athlete. Have you seen his vertical? Just a modest 44 inches. Wiggins is without a doubt the best athlete in this draft class. Does that mean he will be a strong market power? Probably. Companies usually try to find the most explosive athletes to help their companies. Even if they are not very outspoken, just because you are a top flight athlete, companies will start calling. Wiggins has never been an outspoken individual and seems like a humble person. He never liked the attention just watching some of the interviews. He reminds me of Derrick Rose in terms of a person and look what Adidas has done for Derrick Rose. Soft spoken but an elite athlete. Will he be an elite basketball player? Only time will tell. Wiggins is definitely someone companies should target even with him being soft spoken.

1. Nerlens Noel – I bet some of you forgot that Noel is going to be a rookie next year. Being a biased Sixers fan I cannot wait. Had he not torn his ACL at his freshmen year in Kentucky, he would have easily been the number one pick in last year’s draft. Teams were scared. Companies should not be scared. Nerlens Noel is going to be fun to watch and I believe has a very good chance to win rookie of the year. Noel is signed to Reebok and maybe he can make them relavant again. Last I saw with Reebok, they had Allen Iverson and they were bought out by Adidas. Don’t sleep on Nerlens Noel. Companies should reach out to him when they can. What’s not to love, especially the fro. 

I just want to repeat, there is so much talent in this draft. Companies should be reaching out to some of these players before they go big time and you have to pay them even more. Besides these three, there are still the likes of Jabari Parker, Julius Randle, Marcus Smart, Aaron Gordon and many more. Some will be all-stars, some will be mediocre players, and some will be busts. That’s the fun part, seeing who the companies target for marketing purposes and seeing if they make a good or bad investment. 


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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