More and more, NBA teams are using the apron around the court (or part of the court itself) for branding — for example you can find your team’s .com address somewhere on the apron or those above-the-backboard camera angles.
Now the Cleveland Cavaliers and Milwaukee Bucks want to use some of that space — or space on the court — for a customer loyalty program.
The teams want to put the names of season ticket holders on the court somewhere. They presented the idea to the league office, which is considering it, reports John Lombardo at the Sports Business Journal.
One source said the Cavaliers are proposing to put the account holders’ names on the sideline aprons while the Bucks are considering putting the names near the half-court line on the playing floor. The locations are subject to change depending on league response to the proposal.
Neither league nor team officials would discuss the plans, pending their approval, but sources said that if allowed, the initiative could be in place by the start of the coming season.
There are a lot of details to be worked out here — such as where on the court or apron, how big, even which fans to reward — but by and large I don’t see the problem here. Well, so long as the names are not on a decal on the court, those can get slippery.
Like every other business, from your grocery store to your credit card, loyalty programs to reward regular customers are a part of keeping people who spend their money with you happy. The best way for an NBA team to do that is to put a quality, entertaining product on the court, but adding this, making some fans happy, seems a decent move. It’s not interfering with the product on the court, so why not?
But I’ll admit, it will take a little getting used to.