City Sports Report

The NBA Fashion Show Is Yet Another NBA Marketing Ploy

Will Demarcus Cousins take home the Fashion Show crown? (photo courtesy www.farm2.static.flickr.com)

The NBA All-Star weekend has another event added this week. In addition to events like the Slam Dunk contest, the Rising Stars challenge and things like that, the NBA is taking their weekend off the court. With Fashion Week in New York falling within the same timeframe as All-Star weekend, the NBA now has the NBA All-Star All-Style show. This competitive fashion show, which is produced by LeBron James’ Spring Hill Production Company, will debut on television on Saturday at 6:30 pm est/5:30 cst. Klay Thompson, Zach LaVine along with Sacramento Kings big man Demarcus Cousins, will be among the competitors that will be matched up with a stylist to prepare the players as they dress in three categories: boardroom, a night out and game attire. The contest will have eight players involved and will whittle down to four for the second round and then two for the final round. All players will hit the runway with a supermodel accompanying them and will be judged by people like TNT analysts Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley, WNBA player Elena Delle Donne and GQ editor Will Welch. And for that comedic element, Kevin Hart will be present. Interestingly enough, many think that this is a joke and something that should not be added. But this is simply just another case of the NBA using Marketing 101.

The NBA has always had recognizable stars on the court and in commercials. For example, Michael Jordan was a great player on the court, but he also was recognizable in a lot of commercials. Who can remember watching Gatorade commercials wanting to be like Mike? Who all can remember wanting to have those fresh pair of Jordans when they first came out? For what seems like years, the NBA has been having an impact on fashion that many have worn and it’s not just been Jordan who has had an impact. Allen Iverson had an impact when he began to wear a shooting sleeve and cornrows. That not only affected the fashion on the court but the style off the court, as many people were influenced and rocked the same style that Iverson did. The NBA and sports have been doing a fashion show for years, just the NBA is the first to have a public event like this during their All-Star events.

Even through the changes of the dress code in 2005, the NBA has been a sounding board for fashion. From the clothes that everyone loves to the fashion that everyone questions, the NBA has tapped into the fashion market more and more each year. So, it was only natural that they take the next progression to get fashion show started. And along with the impact it has on the market that watches the game, it now allows the NBA to spread its wings to a different demographic. The usual sports fans will tune into the NBA because they love the game and all that comes along with it. But there are also folks that could care less about the game and would not know an NBA player from a normal person walking down the street simply because they don’t watch the games. So with bringing in fashion show, the NBA now taps into a new market and can captivate a new market of fans. And what the NBA is banking on is some of these fans being brought in with the fashion and either adding to their pockets by buying jerseys or tuning in to watching games to see what fashion sense some players may have arriving to games.

The marketing ripple effect does not stop with the fashion and the NBA zeroing in on it. When folks see fashion on television in anything these days, they tend to talk about it on social media. With all the hashtags and trends that tend to take over social media, the NBA wins because those who are talking about the fashion are helping bring attention to those who aren’t watching about what is going on. And that, in turn, peaks the curiosity of many that would want to see what all the noise is about. That leads to viewing numbers going up and yet more ratings to sell to potential businesses who would love to buy commercial time during the NBA game slots. In essence, the NBA is depending on fans and non-fans to talk about what is or isn’t being worn by their players to line their pockets up even more. And like clockwork, more and more people fall for the plan whether they realize it or not.

Going forward, I expect this fashion show to be a yearly event that brings positive or negative comments. But the good thing for the NBA is it will bring views and generate social media buzz. And that will bring in more and more attention to the product they are producing. The NBA is using the fashion show and implanting their marketing plan. And this, my friends, is Marketing 101.

For more sports talk, feel free to follow me on Twitter @General_MP or check me out on Facebook at Mike Patton-The General .

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