Slowdown At The Athletic Continues With Halt of WNBA Freelance Writers

  • Decision part of a wider move to cut back on nearly 100% of freelance contributors.
  • But journalism expert bemoans ‘beacon of hope’ cutting back on WNBA coverage.

The Athletic temporarily paused the contributions of half a dozen freelance writers covering the WNBA, after laying off other staff earlier this week. The move is part of a wider strategy to cut back on nearly all freelance contributors at the digital subscription site, which has scooped up hundreds of sports journalists from struggling newspapers over the past four years while raising more than $100 million in venture capital money. “As sports are temporarily on pause due to the global […]

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Wilson NCAA balls

NBA Switching To Wilson After Nearly 40 Years With Spalding

  • Wilson, the NBA's first official basketball in 1946, takes over as the league's ball after Spalding held that role for nearly 40 years.
  • Wilson is also the official basketball of the NCAA.

After a 37-year hiatus, Wilson has reclaimed its position as the official basketball supplier to the NBA. The company will take over the reins starting with the 2021-22 season. The switch marks the end of Spalding’s nearly 40-year run as the official ball. Wilson will also be the official ball for the WNBA, G-League, 2K League, and Basketball Africa League. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. “Hundreds of millions of people play basketball worldwide and participation is expected to […]

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Wilson NCAA balls

Wilson Bounces Back as Official NBA Ball

  • This article was first published in the FOS Daily Newsletter. Subscribe here.
  • Wilson is back as the NBA’s official basketball after nearly 40 years of Spalding.

The NBA announced Wilson will take over as the official league ball beginning with the 2021-22 season. Wilson supplants Spalding, which has been providing basketballs to the league since 1983. Along with the NBA, Wilson will supply the WNBA, G-League, 2K League and Basketball Africa League. Wilson is also the official ball of the NCAA and FIBA – as well as the official football of the NFL. Wilson returns to the role after serving as the first official ball of […]

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NBA Offers Home Drills for Pent-Up Kids as Pandemic Response Expands

  • The Jr. NBA at Home platform has generated 57 million views since launching March 20 and will now expand into longer-form workouts with NBA and WNBA players and staff.
  • With the youth program in 72 countries, there’s a more substantial post-pandemic opportunity to expand Jr. NBA at Home workouts.

Children with pent up energy have a new outlet from the NBA. The league is launching an expanded version of its Jr. NBA at Home instructional series April 21, featuring longer-form workouts with NBA and WNBA talent showcasing drills and exercises for limited space.  “This time of year, we usually have kids playing with teammates, and we’re running an extensive calendar of camps and clinics,” David Krichavsky, NBA senior vice president and head of youth development, said. “In the current […]

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Fundamentals: Yahoo Sports NBA Insider Chris Haynes

Welcome to Episode 2 of Fundamentals with Ian Thomas, a Front Office Sports digital show featuring leading operators and voices. On Fundamentals, FOS Editor Ian Thomas interviews business leaders and subject experts to break down the fundamental topics and trends driving the sports industry. On Thursday, we welcomed Yahoo Sports NBA Insider Chris Haynes to discuss the potential return of NBA action and the actions the league has taken since suspending its season on March 11th. More on Chris Haynes… A California native with […]

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Suns Play Out Season On Twitch To Bring Fans Together Virtually

  • The Phoenix Suns drew in 221,000 views in its first Twitch simulation on NBA2K, including 126,000 unique viewers.
  • Acting fast, the team will now look for ways to monetize the platform.

Once the NBA season was suspended, Dean Stoyer brought his team in Phoenix together to figure out the path forward to keep fans engaged.  The Suns chief marketing and communications officer empowered his department to brainstorm, and out of it emerged the idea to simulate the rest of the season’s games on NBA2K, streamed on Twitch. “[Social Media Senior Manager Allison Harissis] and the social team thought beyond traditional broadcast and what are other ways to give to fans,” Stoyer […]

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NBA All Stars Kemba and Lebron

Brands Turn to NBA All-Star Game to Connect Amid Declining Ratings

  • Television down due to injuries, alternatives and too many Warriors games.
  • Focus on stars off the court as Hennesey launches, Turner celebrates its history.

After NBA ratings suffered through the early-season, brands are turning to the league’s All-Star Game as a way to make sure they’re connecting with fans. The reasons for the decline are numerous, from injuries to poor matchups to a plethora of entertainment alternatives, Turner Sports Chief Revenue Officer Jon Diament said, specifically mentioning a glut of games featuring the struggling Golden State Warriors. NBA fans haven’t disappeared, however, so Turner continues to work on multi-channel avenues to reach them. “[Millennials […]

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NBA Teams See Value In KINEXON’s Performance Data

(KINEXON is a proud partner of Front Office Sports) As NBA All-Star Weekend 2020 is set to get underway in Chicago, the eyes of the basketball world will be on the league’s biggest stars. Just down the road from the United Center, the site of Sunday’s All-Star Game, is the U.S. headquarters for one of the fastest growing performance data and analytics providers in the world, KINEXON.  In 2016, the German-based technology company opened its first U.S. office. After finding […]

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Lance Thomas and Slangmagic Give Back Through Fishing

(BrandForward is a proud partner of Front Office Sports) It is not uncommon in 2020 for professional athletes to turn their off-court passions into a business. It is a special sight, however, when an athlete utilizes that business to make a real impact in the community and the lives of others.    With more than eight NBA seasons and an NCAA championship under his belt, Lance Thomas is a name that basketball enthusiasts know well, but not all fans may realize […]

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Friday Five: NBA’s Ralph Rivera On Playing Games In Paris

  • The NBA is playing its first-ever regular season game in Paris this season - and has already announced plans to play another in 2021.
  • The league has specifically targeted France as a growth market, a country that already supplies the league with star players like Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert.

The NBA will play its first regular-season game in Paris today, as the Charlotte Hornets will play the Milwaukee Bucks in the French capital. While it’s the first time the league is playing a game outside of London since the NBA began playing regular-season games in Europe in 2011, it won’t take long for the league to return – NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced yesterday that another game would be played in Paris in 2021. What has attracted the NBA […]

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