At the upcoming NBA All-Star weekend in Salt Lake City, Utah, more than 35 sponsorships, including activations, social media campaigns, and on-site item sales, will be present.
All-Star Crossover, the league’s immersive fan event, will feature appearances by active and retired NBA and WNBA players, musical artists, and other celebrities in different events in collaboration with NBA sponsors over the weekend of February 17–19 at Salt Palace Convention Center.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) hosts the basketball exhibition game known as the All-Star Game every February to highlight 24 of the top players in the league. It is the main event of the three-day, from Friday to Sunday, NBA All-Star Weekend. On March 2, 1951, the All-Star Game was held for the first time at the Boston Garden. Each team has a 12-man roster, with the starting lineup chosen by a combination of fan, player, and media voting. Head coaches choose the reserves, who are seven players from their respective conferences. Voting for one’s own players is not permitted for coaches. The NBA commissioner chooses a replacement if a chosen player is injured and unable to compete.
A meeting between NBA President Maurice Podoloff, NBA publicity director Haskell Cohen, and Boston Celtics owner Walter A. Brown resulted in the concept for an All-Star Game. The collegiate basketball point-shaving scandal had just broken, shocking the whole basketball community at the time. Cohen suggested that the league hold an exhibition game featuring the league’s top players, akin to Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game, to revive public interest. Even though the majority of individuals, including Podoloff, were doubtful about the plan, Brown remained optimistic and volunteered to host the game and to cover all costs or potential losses associated with it.
The Eastern All-Stars team defeated the Western All-Stars squad, 111-94, in the inaugural All-Star Game, which was held in the Boston Garden on March 2, 1951. Ed Macauley of the Boston Celtics was chosen as the first NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player. The All-Star Game was a success, with 10,094 spectators, significantly more than the 3,500 average for that season. In Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, the NBA All-Star Game in 2010 broke the attendance record for a basketball game with 108,713 spectators. The NBA will continue its efforts to provide additional opportunities for students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities by focusing its social impact initiatives at All-Star on youth, education, food insecurity, and economic inclusion (HBCUs).
Mission & Vision
The NBA’s activities at NBA All-Star are centred on empowering neighbourhood youth through basketball. On the sixth annual Jr. NBA Day, players from the NBA family, including active and past NBA and WNBA players, will take part in basketball clinics aimed at imparting the principles and ideals of the game to up to 1,500 local children from six school districts. In addition, the NBA will continue its long-standing connection with Make-A-Wish America by granting five wishes at NBA All-Star to families in the greater Utah area.
The NBA’s All-Star Day of Service partners all give back to their local communities in various ways. Bott talks on the Utah Food Bank’s emphasis on the “nutritional side of hunger” and how they try to provide families in need with access to nutritious food alternatives, particularly those with young children who are still developing.
The NBA has long bragged about its dedication to diversity: 36% of the league office personnel, 47% of its head coaches, and 81% of its players are people of colour. There are some LGBTQ employees working for the league headquarters and its teams. The NBA is also pleased with its track record and dedication to inclusivity. Jason Collins of the Brooklyn Nets was the first openly homosexual athlete in a major sports league.
The NBA strengthens its position as a pioneer in the struggle for diversity in the sports business by speaking out against LGBTQ prejudice. ESPN noted that it supported inclusion and supported the NBA’s decision. The National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) said it is transferring seven championship games—including the first rounds of the 2017 Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, a component of March Madness—out of North Carolina a few weeks after the NBA made its progressive decision.
Following the NCAA’s lead, the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) decided to move all neutral-site championships this season a few days later. All of these groups risk offending partners who have committed to spending a lot of money on the events as well as losing money they have already invested. But because the NBA was the first to make a decision, it gave the others some leeway to make comparable announcements.
This was a business choice, but it was also a wise one, as NBA Commissioner Adam Silver put it. Officials in Charlotte predict that missing the All-Star Weekend may have a $100 million economic impact. Despite the fact that some expenses are not recoupable, the cost of inaction could have been far higher. In addition to the NBA’s reputation being on the line, community demonstrations might have taken the place of the cheery photos of NBA/WNBA/NBDL stars on top pages. In fact, there is a considerable probability that NBA employees and players would have taken part in principled demonstrations. Instead, the NBA has received favourable coverage, with staff members and players applauding the league’s choice in earned media.
With their choice, the NBA league claimed it was attempting to bring about “positive change.” The league might go above and beyond merely garnering positive news by emphasising its own fundamental principles, which include “not simply diversity, inclusion, fairness, and respect for others, but also the openness to listen to and accept opposing points of view.” Maybe the NBA will inspire other businesses to utilise their purchasing power to sway partners, suppliers, and agencies. The NBA might serve as a reminder of the original purpose of All-Star weekend, which is for athletes and teams to put aside their differences in order to unite, enjoy the neighbourhood, and place teamwork and a love of the game above all else.