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The NBA Changes Its Mind About Liquor Advertising in the Name of Profits


There is nothing like good old American “corporate values”. The great thing about these corporate values is that they are flexible depending on the status of the economy. According to Advertising Age, “The National Basketball Association has voted to rescind its ban on courtside advertising from hard-liquor brands, giving individual franchises a major new category in the search for marketing partners, and potentially opening the door for the league itself to strike a deal with a spirits maker.

The article continues, “The NBA voted to overturn the ban at its sales and marketing meeting earlier this month, allowing teams to draw from a $55 billion-a-year U.S. business. An NBA spokesman said, ‘The vote just happened, so we don’t know how it’s going to play out. We haven’t structured it yet, so we don’t know what it’s going to mean for teams in terms of in-arena advertising, outside ads, ticket signage, website ads. … We’re working on it now.’

So my questions are: a) Why was liquor advertising banned in the first place? And b) What has changed to allow the ban to be lifted?

My best answers are: a) To achieve some sort of position of moral superiority. And b) They need the cash. Yessss! America rules! This economic crisis has created the same kind of post-9/11 “whatever-it-takes-to-get-the-job-done” atmosphere that gave us the Patriot Act and Guantanamo Bay, except this time at least someone is benefiting.

I’m all for the liquor companies gaining access to marketing opportunities through he NBA. Clearly any reasons that the NBA had for banning liquor advertising in the first place couldn’t have been all that substantial, and liquor companies should have the same right to marketing opportunities that beer and other industries have.

What do you think?


  1. Brian | Monday, January 26, 2009

    I never even realized there wasn’t a presence of hard liquor in the NBA..

  2. Jesse A. | Monday, January 26, 2009

    Let the Party Begin! Go Team Recession!

  3. johnston | Monday, January 26, 2009

    David Stern weighed in on this one … I don’t know if that tipped the scales … it probably did.

    Hard liquor for the hard court … huh … I suppose the team cheerleaders will be entertained by the shenanagins of the crowd and Kobe may finaly get his due by an unruly fan for his Aspen foray.

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