Per an article written by Terry Lefton of the SBJ, the NBA’s players’ association (NBAPA) has established a separate business unit for commercial activities including merchandising, sponsorship, events and content. The new unit, branded as National Basketball Players Inc. was established as a for profit company and will have its own profit and loss statement and payroll.

This move is a part of the initiative to establish the NBAPA as a fully independent marketing property. Earlier this year, they took their rights in house for the first time in 20 years. Chief Marketing Officer Jordan Schlachter, who crafted the strategy of breaking away from the NBA alog with NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts said of the decision, “that was less of a dollar-and-cents decision, it was really about having control of their own destiny and who we are in business with.” Schlachter has promised membership better returns for their intellectual  property immediately. 

Clarence Nesbitt, Que Gaskins and Josh Goodstadt are the new hires that will oversee a staff of eight, expected to quickly expand. Nesbitt will serve as the new general counsel for Players Inc (PI). Previously he was Nike for 10 years, most recently as the Director of Global Brand Business affairs. Gaskins began this month as the Chief Brand and Growth officer for PI. He has over 25 years of marketing and merchandising experience including 13 years with Nike and Reebok where he managed the Allen Iverson brand. Most recently he served as Executive Vice President of Strategic Marketing and Brand Partnerships at Def Jam recordings. Gaskin believes there are 4 major opportunities for the new unit,“There are obvious commerce opportunities; content opportunities — which every brand is looking for; cultural opportunities at big events like the All-Star Game; and community opportunities, when you think about the growing impact of our players as cultural influencers,” he said. Schlachter hopes Gaskin will also “establish what this brand (PI) means and tell the story about what the union means inside and outside”. Goodstadt joined the NBAPA in August as Executive Vice President of Licensing. Most recently, he served as Vice President of Global Licensing and retail at HBO.

The sponsorship side of Players Inc. will also be revitalized as a part of the initiative. In the past the NBPA sold assets around its “One Court” players headquarters during All Star Weekend. This year’s “One Court” during All Star Weekend in Los Angeles, at the London Hotel in West Hollywood will be its largest yet. Now, it will develop year round opportunities, starting with its currently unbranded full-court at the union’s Midtown headquarters in New York City. Event opportunities include everything from camps (the NBPA ran a weeklong camp in New York City this summer for more than 100 kids), golf tournaments and instructional opportunities. 


Source: Sports Agency Blog