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Innovation and Change at the NBA

Info: 2086 words (8 pages) Essay
Published: 17th Mar 2021 in Sports

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Introduction:

The NBA, which also stands for the National Basketball Association officially started in 1949. At the start of the new basketball league only 17 teams existed. Later on it grew to the size it had today which makes it one of the most popular sports and leagues today. However, there was numerous changes that occurred from 1949 to the league it is today. The inclusion of African Americans really increased its population and size as it created more teams. Certain teams struggled financials as they came from previous leagues that were in much smaller markets. Certain teams have accumulated more money than others as they had more fans and more investors in larger cities. What changed the game was having team get bought out by rich people who bought talent from other teams and signed them on a contract. As time passed, teams invested in larger stadiums and marketed the team more. The NBA operated as a business and made sure things were running smoothly. As technology advanced so did the NBA. Incorporating nationally televised games helped increase popularity in different countries. This meant more interest and money coming in from international markets. Currently the NBA is one of the most advanced businesses in the world. Meeting great revenue marks and constantly incorporating new ideas. Since they have expanded so much, an introduction to playing games in different countries has been a great change in the organization. The NBA employees many employees and over twenty-five within the board.  Amy Brooks is currently the top innovation officer, in other words she oversees any ideas or change that occur within the organization. She has played a massive role within the organization including international games in Mexico and England. (Juravich 2017)

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Overtime NBA faced a lot of changes and situations which forced them to change. From the start of the league to where it is today, government, social, and natural events all forced the NBA to adapt. For example, the social issues during the civil rights movement never really effect the NBA compared to other sports since they as an organization believed in social unity. This meant all are equal and that allowed the organization to never go through certain issues or the inclusion of African Americans within the stadium or on the rosters itself. Other things that forced the NBA to change was the technology that advanced every year. Providing the best technology foe cable and viewers at home is one of the main priorities in the NBA. Social issues such as gender equality, sexual orientation, and race has always been something the organization has been working on. Being an equal opportunity employer has made NBA a great organization to work for an avoid any conflict. (Juravich 2017)

With a large organization like the NBA social issues are the main cause of change and forces companies to change quickly or face possible backlash. Within the past twenty years more social issues have arise compared to others according to NBA employees. Things such as better pay for women and the inclusion of diversity amongst the workplace has been some of the biggest reasons for change. For them to target certain markets has been a constant focus for them (Gunnaway 2015). Incorporating new tactics and changing certain plans to what they have now has been very successful. The NBA has had a larger role within communities that are close to the NBA teams. Building numerous courts and running many tournaments and small organizations to build basketball around America.

How do challenges affect the following?

Making sure that the NBA is currently doing its best it can be doing, makes everyone happy. And is in everyone’s interest. In terms of the organization itself if it is not satisfying their employees then work may not be done as quickly. The only time where the NBA can fail is when they face a lockout. In definition, an NBA lockout occurs when players organization and the NBA organization don’t agree on terms too many times. Only one has occurred for an entire first half of the season, this affected everyone involved with the organization ranging from employees to business partners. Since the BA wasn’t going on no revenue was coming in so it was a massive issue for both players and the NBA. The unique aspect of this situation ended up working in the NBA’s favor. Since the lockout was occurring the players decided to not let the free time go to waste and played for smaller local organizations for free. Local high schools became packed due to the NBA players being there. After a few months without the NBA, it started up and had a massive increase in popularity and a rise in ticket sales across all teams. Customer satisfaction was at 25% during the lockout but rose to 94%. Having such a massive increase helped the organization in the long run as it sustained a constant number of new fans. New fans bring more money to teams and the company. Amy Brooks who was also part of the innovation aspect of the company said she learned a lot from the lockout. She later states this “The lockout was a hard three months, but it helped us learn and adapt to certain things, giving us many ideas on how to sustain the organization,” (Gunnaway 2015). With the lockout and the NBA players playing locally communities came together to their local gyms to watch professional players for free. This satisfied all aspects of the organization minus the business partners and shareholders during the lockout due to the reason that their investment became slightly risky for a few months. In terms of organization’s growth, it received a large boost in interest as people saw those players up close and the skill level they have. It had a temporary downfall but a great comeback. This made the NBA realize that they would not exist without the players which is why they make sure they are always satisfied. In terms of financial stability, the NBA has always made a great amount of money but in terms of constant inflows from the teams and events held by the NBA but during the change period. The lockout forced the NBA to really look at the change needed in order to become successful.

What are the benefits of change in the company?

The NBA has constantly been expanding, making them a company that is very sustainable. They have learned from previous mistakes and experiences which led them to constantly develop new ways for them to be successful. Since this company includes most walks of life. Having understood that, the NBA changed their methodology to revolve around its fans (customers) and players. This means that they have constantly focused on giving the most to them as they understood without those stake holders it wouldn’t strive. The benefits have shown over the past four years with a steady increase of five to 10 percent in revenue. That may not be much but when total revenue reaches close to billions of dollars, that percent increase still means a lot of money. This makes employees, shareholders, and business partners very happy.  The NBA makes teams and players give back to their local communities. Having these big teams in major cities can be constructive in their CSR.  Teams do a lot of charity work within those under privileged communities, schools, and neighborhoods. Brooks understood the concept of fans and players first and came up with the idea of making sure teams complete a certain amount of volunteer work or visits. Over the past ten years the NBA has given over 50 million in parks, basketball courts, and charity in total (Nouvari 2019). This is great for a company that makes a tremendous amount of money every year. It retains a proper and successful reputation with the constant involvement with the numerous communities its volunteer projects engage with. Especially with the media playing a massive role in showing what they to it is televised how well the NBA does with their CSR (Gunnaway 2015). For many years’ employees have been satisfied with working for the NBA. Having a satisfaction rating of just over 93%. With all factors having a great level of success, the economy has had a direct correlation to its success bringing higher revenues to the NBA includes more cycling of money within the economy.

What are three lessons learned from the change?

With the founding of the NBA many things have occurred. Over time social injustices and various lockouts occurred were It forced the NBA to change its methods. The biggest lessons learned have been that the organization focuses on its employees and the social rules it must follow. For example, it faced a specific issue on diversity amongst the workplace. They lacked diversity which meant they had to increase their percentage. They became equal opportunity employers which meant their goal was to diversify the workplace as much as they could since they have started targeting all sorts of international markets. They learned that giving back to the community goes a long way in the eye of the media and the people it helps. Ringing up a new idea of constantly giving back to the communities that don’t have the privilege of new courts and parks plays in the NBA’s favor. This includes a very good CSR and higher ratings in terms of televised games and more turn out at different NBA events. Lastly a massive lesson learned was to make sure they avoid another major lockout. This forced the NBA to change its methods in terms of negotiations with the players and make sure that their party is satisfied with their offers within the first few negotiations (Nouvari 2019). With lockouts, puts a hold on revenues and prevents the NBA from starting this may affect many more things as well as their overall objectives and goals that need to be reached.

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Conclusion

Three things learned in managing industry change is to identify possible issues that may occur within any aspect that correlates to the industry. Having an idea on what may go wrong may give a head start to someone in coming up with a changing and managing it properly. Another would be to figure out methods in which social movements can affect the organizations and implement a method in which all parties are satisfied and can even use the organization as an example or leader in a possible change movement. Lastly, making sure people involved amongst the organization to prevent any work from getting done. Coming up with ideas to make sure employees and the workplace an efficient and positive environment is key for a successful organization.

Knowing how change can influence certain industries can help someone decide what job or industry they want to be a part of. For example, if they can’t handle something too fast paced or an industry that is constantly hanging, they may not like a massive organization. For my own personal preference, I would work in either an already established company or just a start up. Every job brings in different situation so there would be no difference in either or. Change is something that will always happen. Especially with all the new technology and research that is always done, things change quickly all the time. It is great to have the trait of being able to adapt quickly is something I tend to appreciate so when change occurs, I am ready for it.

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