NBA  > General NBA  > NBA Best Marketed Brand in America?
November 11, 2009, 01:40 PM
I'm in the marketing field, and I came across a study recently by Kadence, a global market research firm headquartered in London. They did a study of "attractive" American consumers, where attractive = educated with decent + income, age 18-54. The average household income of the sample of 5,000+ of these U.S. consumers was around $90,000.

Anyhow, the survey collected information on the personal aspirations of each consumer, how they most wanted to be seen by others. Intelligent? successful? caring? practical? attractive? spiritual? youthful? environmentally responsible? sophisticated? energetic? innovative? -- Twenty attributes in all.

Then they "weighted" the people, so that the people were made to "count more" the younger they were, the more educated they were, and the more money they made.

They matched this profile of people's aspirations against the aspirations of people who were "consumers" of each of 653 brands. It is standard marketing mantra that the aspirations of people who consume a brand reflect what the brand is. Anyhow -- lo and behold -- the NBA was closer to being the perfect match to these people's aspirations than any other brand in the study. It's like the American dream personified...

Of the sports brands, NBA was #1, the Summer Olympics #16, MLB #75, SI #111 (great job, SI!!), Winter Olympics #131, New England Pats #169, NCAA Football #222, NCAA Basketball #229, NFL #286, Yankees #372, NHL #377, Cubs #422, Phillies (pre World Series 09) #465, MLS #470, Bosox #472, WTT #474, NASCAR #475, Celts #479, Dodgers #490, PGA #526, WNBA #530, LPGA #545, PBA #548, D-Rays #549, World Cup #555, Lakers (surprisingly, a Bryant effect?) #576 out of 653 brands, including most major brands sold in the U.S.

The study also allows you to understand the "psychological defects" of each sport -- for the NHL, for example, it's too traditional and not caring enough. This doesn't mean there isn't a large audience of old-fashioned tough guys who will watch the sport -- only that it niche-ifies itself with what it is.

NASCAR is too associated with carefree (too risk-taking, crazy?), unsuccessful (the old greasy gas station guy imagery?) people.

Anyhow, there's a lot of information in the study about sports. But it just goes to show that David Stern has his sights set on the strongest possible appeal to the people who advertisers most treasure -- and is actually pulling it off.

Being #1, the NBA was closer to a psychological bullseye than anything else measured, which was pretty much everything -- iPod, Sony, Marriott, Levi's, Campbell Soup, Microsoft, Honda, Hershey's, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, etc., etc.

So where can the NBA go now if it???s already perfect from a marketing standpoint?

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