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    Shooting for success

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    Due to the use of an exceptionally well- executed game plan the NBA has emerged as the first truly global sports league. The transformation of a once faltering domestic sport into a global commercial success reflects a keen understanding of resources and capabilities. And much of the credit should go to the NBA commissioner, David Stern who had been building the NBA into a global brand. He says, basketball is a universal language, and it's about to bloom on a global basis. Professional basketball sparked the interest of fans around the globe about 1990, and the NBA cashed in on the games universal appeal. At one time if you had asked someone in China what the most popular basketball team was, the answer would have been the red Oxen from Chicago, the bulls today. Today the NBA's center for attention comes from China. Yoo Ming, the seven foot five inch center piece of the Houston Rockets, Has a personality that appeals to fans around the world. But he is not the only global player in the league. Others include the Dallas Mavericks, Dirk Nowitzki,and seven footer from Germany, Pau Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies, a native of Spain and also seven feet tall San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker from France,Denver Nuggetsa forward Nene Hillario from Brazil, Orlado Magic guard Gordon Giricek from Croatia, and the newest import, Darko Milicic a seven foot teen ager from Serbia, now playing for the Detroit Pistons, What started as a trickle in the 1980's with occasional forigen stars, such as Hakeem Olajuwon from Nigeria and the late Drazen Petrovic from Croatia, has turned into a flood. There is a record 64 players from 34 countries and territories outside the United States that are playing in the NBA. I n addition to the global players now in the US league, The NBA is taking the game global. The league held several preseason games in Europe, Latin America, and Asia. In addition Stern predicts that there will be multiple teams in Europe by the end of the decade. Developers are starting to build modern arenas to help promote expansion of the game. But today's global appeal didn't come easily. In the mid 1990's the league wanted to be a global entertainment leader and had the resources and the capabilities to make it happen. However the 1998-1999, season almost brought it to a crashing end. A brutal contract negotiation with players forced the cancellation of more than one-third of the leagues games. The lockout frustrated and angered fans. Stern found the leagues many global business initiatives grinding to a halt. Then there was the issues of the NBA's most celebrated and revered icon, Michael Jordon. His first retirement in 1999 took away one of the leagues key draws. Both as a player and as a celebrity. From its winning streak, the NBA was suddenly struggling. However Stern wasn't throwing in the towel. To address the strategic challenges facing the NBA, Stern looked at what the league had to offer. What it had was consumer familiarity with basketball both domestically and globally, and some talented young players, and a recognized image and track record. If these things could be exploited, the NBA might be able to get back in the game. One of the actions that Stern took was to expand its network offices globally. Why? The league hoped to reignite The NBA's popularity with consumers by being visible. Stern explained, "The model is the rock concert. Sell lots of records. Tour occasionally". Another thing that Stern did was to enhance the leagues internet presence through it's web site. TODAY SOME 40% OF THE VISITORS TO THE NBA Web site which includes sites in Spanish, Japanese and Chinese, log on from outside the United States. The NBA pushes its games and merchandise to fans around the world through it's computers. The leagues global appeal is filling its coffers. About 20% of all NBA merchandise is now sold outside the United States. Which is more than $430 million in annual revenue. Almost 1 million fans pay $10.00 a month to listen to streaming English or Spanish audio of almost any game on the leagues web site. The NBA built an NBA city theme restaurant in the Dominican Republic and is thinking of opening NBA stores in Asia and Europe. Separate NBA boutiques can be found in big department stores such as El Corte Ingles in Spain. Then there's the television revenue. Nearly 15% of its $900 million in annual TV revenue comes from partners in some 212 countries and territories out side the United States.

    Stern and the NBA are defiantly taking actions to enhance their resources and capabilities. Whether these are just hoop dreams or can be a reality remains to be seen.

    Please give your opinion on the following questions.

    1. From this abbreviated description, what resources and capabilities do you think the NBA has? Does the fact that an organization is thriving for global success make it more difficult to develop unique resources and distinctive Capabilities? Explain.
    2. Take each of the three approaches to internal analysis and describe how each could be used in analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the NBA. Which one do you think is most appropriate for an organization such as the NBA? Support your choice.
    3. Look at each of the strategic initiatives implemented by Stern. Are they exploiting the NBA's strengths and minimizing its weaknesses? Explain.

    I just felt that it was necessary to add that this is based on your opinion of the scenario. And that a short paragraph or two is all that is needed plus references if used.

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    Solution Preview

    Please give your opinion on the following questions.

    1. From this abbreviated description, what resources and capabilities do you think the NBA has? Does the fact that an organization is thriving for global success make it more difficult to develop unique resources and distinctive Capabilities? Explain.
    The resources that NBA has a huge income from the sale of tickets, from TV revenue, from the audio of the game from the leagues web site, its merchandize, stores and even restaurants.
    That apart the NBA has huge capabilities in marketing the game globally. It has been able to form world wide network, make the NBA brand popular abroad and recruited talented players abroad. The NBA seems to have a formidable team in place that has exceptional networking, negotiation and marketing skills.
    One of the greatest positive points about NBA is that it has the ...

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