I was thinking about this all day, and wondered to myself, why do the NBA players say they are the product? I believe in most cases, they sell the product known as the National Basketball Association, the teams they represent (Lakers, Raptors, Celtics), and the shoes they wear (Nike, Jordans, Adidas). If they consider them the “product” how come the teams aren’t name after them? If you see these little summer games and street ball games, known as Team Wade, Team LeBron etc. They then become the product. When I go down to the ACC to watch the Raptors, I don’t say, I’m going to go see Ed Davis, Or DeMar Derozen, I say I’m going to watch the Raptors. The only players that can consider themselves “products” are the marquee guys, like LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, because they are the face of the league. They are well known around the world because of their accomplishments within the NBA brand. When they get their endorsement deals and start selling shoes, they become a spokesperson for that product.
(Photos From NBA.com)
In reality a product can’t sell a product, but a brand can sell a product, the NBA would use their marquee guys (the real “product”) to sell the game. Most athletes are brands now, which gives them the power to sell products, but they themselves can’t be replicated and sold as a product, that’s how I see it. I understand that the players have the right to fight/bargain for their future contracts, but to call themselves the product, I think is laughable. The bottom line product, is basketball, you make a lot of money playing basketball, a sport, everyone understands the economics of you being in that sport, making the kind of money you make. The best in the world deserves to get paid handsomely being the “best” in the world, but that’s it. The NBA brands you, they give you all the opportunities once David Stern calls your name. If you work hard, avoid injury and get the playing time, the sky is the limit. After all is said and done, you’re only branding yourself, you only work hard for your value in the league, most jobs, when you work hard, you stay at the same rate. Be happy for your opportunity. Respect those that gave you that opportunity. The fans will respect you for your hard work and will cheer for you day in, day out. But just remember, the product is basketball, the logo on the front of the jerseys, unless your marquee and people buy the jersey for what’s on the back. In the end, you’re all employees working for a business
Agree or disagree, my point has been made!!!