The National Basketball Association is one of the world’s most significant professional sports leagues. Currently, the principal basketball organization globally, the game, the franchises, and all its brands have become a staple for merchandise, marketing, and eCommerce.
Whether fans are looking for NBA odds or the top picks in the league, the NBA is filled with some of the most intricate eCommerce strategies. Noting some examples of these strategies in the league can help grasp the immense influence the NBA has had in recent years.
NBA’s Major Deal with Fanatics
Before this major deal was closed, it was the distribution chains that used to leap into the online world. However, at the time, this became a transition to the opposite. Fanatics, the leading e-commerce company selling official products from the main sports leagues, signed an agreement with the NBA that would lead to many significant changes.
One of the most significant impacts was the inclusion of a clause to open a flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City. It is 2,300 square meters spread over three floors which opened its doors that summer for all NBA fans.
In the Fanatics store, fans can buy jerseys of all their favorite teams and players, official basketballs, shoes, and all kinds of official products linked to the league and its 30 franchises. The company also added interactive monitors that facilitated the search for garments inside the store and even the option of requesting that the purchase be delivered directly to tourists’ hotels.
This might have seemed like just another retail store for the NBA. But instead, it was the beginning of the exploitation of the NBA brand as a whole. Not only was Fanatics able to do so with an initial approach of opening a physical store to close the digital gap, but they were also able to offer all fans an experience that could always be extended through digital channels once they were outside the store.
The NBA’s Most Recent Move
The league’s intentions to dominate digital markets through e-commerce have not just been limited to the U.S. For example, the Latin American digital store giant Mercado Libre recently announced a strategic agreement with the National Basketball Association to become its official marketplace.
Following this alliance, Mercado Libre has confirmed that it will launch a page designated for the NBA on its eCommerce platform in Mexico, which will feature official merchandise from the world’s most popular basketball league.
In this way, as the company has reported, NBA fans can find the official products of their favorite teams in Mercado Libre and access them in a much simpler, faster, and safer way. This will also allow fans to take advantage of the credit conditions offered by the financial alliances Mercado Libre has with the banking industry and the company’s financial app, Mercado Pago.
More specifically, the products for sale will include official equipment from the 30 league franchises. To José Escamilla, vice president and development leader for the NBA in Latin America, this is one of those alliances that can help take the league to the next level.
In addition, the company will join the broadcasts and programming of the NBA and the NBA G League in Mexico and participate in activities and events for all fans during the 2022–2023 season schedule.
This might seem like another marketing alliance between the NBA and other major companies worldwide. However, the NBA has once again confirmed how strategic decisions could also lead to the exploitation of the brand, the league, and the franchises as an e-commerce staple that it has worked so hard to build.
The expansion to a market as large as Mexico has also been highlighted as a priority in the last several years. As a result, the NBA is becoming the e-commerce giant that will most likely continue to conquer e-commerce markets in the U.S. and abroad.