Mick
Years ago

What the NBL can learn from Mark Cuban...

http://grantland.com/features/dallas-mavericks-mark-cuban-nba-playoffs/

Great piece that talks about how he got people going to Mavericks games. The NBL could learn a lot from him.


"He wanted to prove to himself, and to the rest of the league, that pro hoops was a hot ticket, even in places like Dallas. He sensed that a lot of his fellow owners were apathetic about ticket sales. They "didn't care if there were 6,000 people in the stands."

Cuban set out to reimagine the NBA fan experience. His first project was selling out his arena by getting people in the cheap seats. “I wanted to fill [our arena] up because (a) I wanted to see if I could do it, and (b) when you have a full arena, your team plays better. It was part of winning.”

He recalls appealing to fans’ frugality. “I remember the first pitch when I came in was like, 'Look, we have $8 tickets. It’s cheaper to go to a Mavs game than it is to go to dinner or a movie.’ You tell me you can’t get somebody out there to pay $8? I don’t care if we have nobody in the lower seats.”

It worked. Soon the Mavs were filling the top rung of the arena, but that wasn’t all — Cuban started to generate more revenue from the courtside seats, as well.

“I just jacked up the price so high, and in Dallas my center court seats immediately went from $200 to $2,000. Boom, like that,” he remembers. “Because those were the TV seats. You got free food, and you got to walk across the court.”"

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Anonymous  
Years ago

Cuban has done a lot of great things, not just for the mavs but basketball in general. Goes to show that successful people can operate in more than one field. Didn't hurt the mavs that he's a billionaire with deep pockets that's a basketball nut.
He created a team that is at least in the running for top free agents. Whilst he hasn't gotten any lately, at least when they mention teams, the mavs are normally on the list.
He also is a great promoter that creates news stories not just in the sports section.
In terms of getting one for the nbl, we did, but Eddy went belly up and we lost the bullets

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Hoopster  
Years ago

Dudes worth 2.7 billion. He can afford to give away tickets.

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orbit  
Years ago

Could have sat on his ass with his almost 3 Billion smoking his 'CUBAN' cigars & done nothing also. Great to see passionate people getting others involved - especially whilst looking after the lesser income earners!

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Anonymous  
Years ago

They have good stadium deals and tax breaks for professional sports franchises.

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Mick  
Years ago

@Hoopster: if you read the article, having a packed house with the cheaper upper bowl tickets drove up the courtside tickets from $200 to over $2k a pop, so it wasn't a matter of losing revenue. Not to mention the home court advantage that you get from a packed house which equals winning, which in turn equals more demand for tickets. The NBL is so shortsighted and this stuff doesn't even occur to them (other than Perth).

Having affordable tickets is not taking a bath, on the contrary: it is actually more profitable.

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Baller#3  
Years ago

The sixers need to do this i think, all silvers for $10 or $15 a pop adult or child. If they usually fill half of silver @$20 they may as well fill the whole thing for a little less. Dont know about other arenas, but i think they should look at making all up levels cheaper.

As a university student I often decide to stay in and not go to games due to the reasonably high prices. Possibly even make the whole of silver and behind the rings general admin, filling as a first in first serve sort of thing.
$15 a ticket or $40 for a family and i think you would see it fill right up. Those who wans great cheap seats would snap up the tickets and get to the game early for the chance to get courtside behind the basket for a cheap price.

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Hoopster  
Years ago

Mick what you have to realise is the NBL is a joke and literally giving away tickets wouldn't get you a full stadium. The sooner people understand that the better. I love basketball but the NBLs quality is cringeworthy and you couldn't give me a free ticket to get me to go.

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Anonymous  
Years ago

Cool story Hoopster.

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Hoopster  
Years ago

Dukes average ticket price is $400. And they are constantly sold out. Embarrassing that NBL can't sell tickets let alone sell out stadiums at around a tenth of that. Tells you a bit about the product on offer.

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Anonymous  
Years ago

Hoopster- apart from that time last year when the sixers gave away cheap tickets and filled the staduim

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Anonymous  
Years ago

"What the NBL can learn from Hoopster"

Nothing.

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Hoopster  
Years ago

Haha because the NBL has been so successful for years now. How many teams are gonna be playing this season? Four??

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MACDUB  
Years ago

Cuban is a brilliant business man. His work ethic is unrivalled among GM's.

With that being said, theres no league team, super rugby team, AFL team, A-League team in Dallas. (All of which overlap here).

In Dallas the only competition for the sport market is between the Cowboys and Mavericks. However the NFL season is short and they co-exist fine.

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Haz  
Years ago

Dallas also has a huge population (5-6 mill?), The NBA is the premier basketball league in the world, the Mavs have been strong for quite a few years, basketball is quite big in Texas (pardon the pun). Got to factor that in also.

But your point is valid Mick. Wish the NBL would take a few initiatives from people like Cuban and try to translate that to our league here.

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mystro  
Years ago

didn't they fill the Dallas Cowboys stadium with like 120k at the Allstar Weekend for an all-time record a few years back?

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Hoopster  
Years ago

There are over two million registered basketball players in Australia, plus parents/ their families. Every game should be able to be sold out. Why aren't they?

Let's use Adelaide arena as an example. 8000 capacity. Every ticket sold for $10 is $80,000. Not ridiculous prices ($200) for baseline tickets, say $50 instead (creates demand because its more accessible to a more casual fan ((exactly what Cuban did)) and maybe $15 for silvers as someone said above, 8000 tickets at $15 (averaged roughly) is $120,000. Adelaide arena can't be too expensive to hire as they hold district games there all the time. I don't know a figure but it can't be too much.

14 home games (based on last year) at $10 a ticket sold out is $1.1million. $15 tickets is $1.6million before hire fees, in the clubs pockets.

Sold out games means more sponsors would see the worth of sponsoring teams. More money to the clubs. More money = more stability. Two clubs folded recently because they just don't have the money to stay afloat.

$10 to watch a game might get casual fans or just sports fans in general out to games. Id take the girlfriend to a game for $20. Cheaper than dinner and a movie.

Once people are going to games you can slowly start increasing prices. Cuban could make his court side tickets 10x more expensive out of nowhere because there was demand!

NBLs in trouble and you're a fool if you disagree. Cuban is definitely not the worst person to look at to get the league out of trouble. Dudes spent $1 million+ in fines since buying the Mavs. Best owner by far

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Hoopster  
Years ago

More money = higher salary cap = better quality of import = more interest in teams maybe? More interest = more demand for tickets = can bump up prices = more money and the circle repeats

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koberulz  
Years ago

the Mavs have been strong for quite a few years, basketball is quite big in Texas (pardon the pun). Got to factor that in also.

Do either of those things predate Cuban, though?

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Hoopster  
Years ago

Drafting Nash and dirk in 98-99 I think turned the team itself around. Selling it to Cuban in 2000 definitely revitalised the teams popularity in Dallas. That was the first year they made the playoffs in a decade. The next year Dallas completely rebranded which would have helped

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proud  
Years ago

What happened to the Dallas Stars, they are successful and worthy of being known as competition aren't they ?

I'd love to see the smaller teams have lower prices and try and sell out their stadiums. That shit about Wollongong going back to the Snakepit is ludicrous as they should be following this cheap tickets = more bums on seats theiry and so should the Crocodiles and even the Bullets when they get up!

The wildcats have nearly 10k members and have jacked up their prices this upcoming season and it will be interesting to see how many they lose over that

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Slopernator  
Years ago

Need to take into account the sheer number of NBA games though. I was shocked when there at just how cheap some of the tickets were, I found lower bowl tickets at Wizards games from less than $30USD and slightly more for tickets at Warriors games. Games in smaller markets were even less.

But (to an extent) NBA teams can afford to flog tickets off at relatively low prices, they often have favourable leases with arenas and have 41 opportunities (plus playoffs) to drive revenue from live receipts. NBL teams have less than half the opportunities and overheads (relative to income) are perhaps higher. My understanding is the bulk of cash for each club in the NBA comes from local and national TV deals though, so the ticket issue is not what it is here, where clubs are predominantly reliant on selling the live product to make a buck.

All that being said though, Hoopster has a point regarding the lack of priority many clubs show in their game night product. I don't agree with his comments about the quality on the court but certainly with regards to marketing and ticketing more could be done. Knowing that it really is your only revenue stream should sufficiently motivate clubs to do all they can to pack out venues. The trouble is when clubs that would love to do this are constrained by ensuring they remain in the black and don't lose money on games, as we saw with the Crocs this season and their ticket pricing issues.

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Hoopster  
Years ago

The other thing is that all the owners have stupid amounts of money and in most cases own the stadiums as well. Lowest average crowd for the season just gone was 14,000 and that was for Philadelphia, highest was 21,000, and those ticket sales go straight to the owners pockets.

And yes I probably was too harsh on the NBLs quality, unfortunately it is the best they can offer until the NBL improves drastically. A $1 million dollar salary cap to pay 15 players including your imports doesn't really allow teams to draw serious interest from overseas. Scrap the 25% levy for marquee signings that push the total spend over a million first of all, then perhaps just have a seperate budget for your marquee signing that isn't included in the regular salary cap. NBA rookie contract for the 30th pick is just under $1 million U.S., and the minimum a 5 year player can earn is around the same. Impossible to draw NBA level players unfortunately. Was shocked to read the cap was only $1m when looking at what Childress has earned before, helps that the Suns paid him 5.5million last year to not play for them.

Fun fact: there are 26 billionaires in Australia. If only the NBL could make itself exciting enough for just a few of those to invest in a team. I read somewhere (news article) it costs $8 million to start and run a team for a year. Pocket change for those guys for some easy advertising.

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koberulz  
Years ago

A $1 million dollar salary cap to pay 15 players
Well yeah, if you're going to insist on signing more players than you're legally allowed to suit up, you're going to run out of cap space. The problem isn't the cap, though.

Scrap the 25% levy for marquee signings that push the total spend over a million first of all, then perhaps just have a seperate budget for your marquee signing that isn't included in the regular salary cap.
Why on earth would you do that? Are Perth not doing well enough in your eyes?

Impossible to draw NBA level players unfortunately.
Patty Mills, Jonny Flynn, James Ennis, Jordan McRae, Sam Young, Josh Childress...

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Hoopster  
Years ago

Patty mills (lockout) Josh Childress (waived), james ennis (signed but no role) Jordan McRae (signed) were all being paid by their NBA clubs at the time. Flynn proved he's not NBA quality. No one wanted Sam young. I'm talking about drawing players good enough to play NBA but get them to choose the NBL instead.

Not sure what you're getting at re the rosters. Even if the player doesn't suit up he still gets paid. Unless you're saying I'm getting the number of players you can have on your roster wrong in which case I apologise. Swear i read 15 somewhere

Why would I scrap the levy? So you can spend more on players without worrying about having to give the league a heap of cash. Make the marquee budget $500,000 on top of the regular cap of $1 million for example.

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koberulz  
Years ago

Patty mills (lockout) Josh Childress (waived), james ennis (signed but no role) Jordan McRae (signed) were all being paid by their NBA clubs at the time.
Neither Ennis nor McRae were signed. Not sure Mills would've been earning any money either.

I'm talking about drawing players good enough to play NBA but get them to choose the NBL instead.
Why?

Even if the player doesn't suit up he still gets paid. Unless you're saying I'm getting the number of players you can have on your roster wrong in which case I apologise. Swear i read 15 somewhere
I'm not sure if there's a maximum, but it's pretty rare to see teams sign more than ten players given that's all they can suit up and any more would be a waste of cap space. A couple of teams have gone as high as eleven, but that's it.

Why would I scrap the levy? So you can spend more on players without worrying about having to give the league a heap of cash.
So Perth wins the next five championships by outspending everyone else, and the rest of the league goes broke. As opposed to the current system, where higher-quality players can be brought in by the teams that can afford it, and the lower-budget clubs get a boost in exchange for being at a recruitment disadvantage. Get rid of the levy and you defeat the entire point of the cap in the first place.

Which, by the way, not all teams are even spending, so if anything it's too high. Your plan sounds a lot like Ken Cole's: Step one, get millions of dollars.

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Hoopster  
Years ago

Max is 12, I was wrong.

I don't think other teams get a cut of that levy. Unless I'm wrong the levy is like the NBA luxury tax. You pay it to go over the salary cap but that's only able to be done for the marquee player. That's as far as I've read anyway, i might be wrong. I thought the NBL organisation gets the money. I'm not scrapping the cap, just adding a bit on. Perth could outspend the other teams but they could only (in my example) spend maximum of 1.5 million.

So I learned a little bit tonight. Ennis was drafted by the heat in 2013. They wanted him to play in the D league because they couldn't afford to sign him to their main roster but that would only have earned him $10,000 so he chose to play in Australia instead. Mills wasn't earning money because of the lockout. If that wasn't on he'd more than likely have been in the NBA.

My idea basically is to get a lot of money. How else will clubs stop folding and start having some stability. It's up to the NBL and the clubs to work out how to get that money. Which brings us back to the initial article and what Cuban did and the idea that teams lower prices to get people through the doors, which shows sponsors (money income) that it's worth investing in the teams, which gets teams more money and stability. A team lost a sponsor worth 1.8 million over three years. Wonder why?

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Hoopster  
Years ago

Alright it was because woolongong coal was in a lot of financial trouble. My mistake. Of course I find that info as soon as i post something

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Hoopster  
Years ago

On the other hand, not good that losing a $500,000 a season sponsor is enough to cripple a team in the nations premier league.

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koberulz  
Years ago

I don't think other teams get a cut of that levy. Unless I'm wrong the levy is like the NBA luxury tax.
Those two sentences contradict each other. The NBA's luxury tax and the NBL's marquee levy are both distributed to non-paying teams.

I'm not scrapping the cap, just adding a bit on. Perth could outspend the other teams but they could only (in my example) spend maximum of 1.5 million.
So...you're just making the cap higher, then. Why are you calling it a marquee rule? And why would you want to do that when teams can't afford the current cap?

My idea basically is to get a lot of money.
That's a fantastic idea, I can't believe nobody else has thought of it yet.

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Hoopster  
Years ago

Sorry, I meant it's like the luxury tax in that it's a penalty for going over the cap. Do you have any proof that other teams get a cut of it? Haven't been able to find anything.

Everyone's thought that the league needs money. The article above shows one way to start getting that money coming in.

Straight from the Hawks coaches mouth: "We saw the interest that [Perth import James] Ennis brought to the league last year, so if you can bring in high quality players like that, it does add interest"

Lower ticket prices -> more people coming -> more money to clubs / better chance of sponsorship -> more money -> better cap -> better players -> more interest -> can raise prices of tickets -> more money etc etc etc

I think we're getting off track. Article proves that lowering prices is beneficial in the long run.

Lowered prices and higher cap doesn't have to happen the same year. Lowering prices could lead to the cap being raised as clubs have higher revenue.

Anyway do you have any ideas to fix the NBL or you gonna keep quoting random sentences and arguing them?

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