I’m basketball fan. So, just like I do every year, I followed All-Star weekend. Full disclosure: I’ve always had my qualms with brands getting overly involved (Kia, Sprite… get off my lawn). But, this year I noticed something even worse – a widening gap between real, average basketball kids and All-Star weekend.
With more connectivity, more events and more money than ever before, how is that possible? After all, the intent of branded basketball events and sneaker apps is to improve accessibility (I made that up, but you know someone in the marketing department used that as a rally cry). Either way, sportswear brands spend millions of dollars hoping to connect with young basketball players in meaningful ways.
It’s not working.
Not because the intention is bad – because the people charged with executing it are more concerned with their own fame and ego than they are with helping basketball kids be part of the action. Just like the rich get richer, the influencers get more influential. It becomes an unbreakable circle of sameness – the same influencers, photographers, agency people, and B-list celebrities getting the same bro-hookups, tickets, free shit, exclusive access. Guess what, none of these people are the basketball loving kids who actually deserve that stuff.
Let’s be honest, how many young hoopers can afford to travel to NYC to attend an exclusive event? Substantially less than the number who can afford $200.00 hoop shoes. Now, let’s say they were able to travel to NYC, what are the odds they would get into said exclusive event? Slim to none, because all the tickets went to the media, influencers, taste-makers, celebrities… and their crews.
How deep of a connection is Instagram jealousy creating? How long will these kids watch from a distance and never be a part of something? What happened to connecting people who love the game with better product and experiences?
These are serious questions. As smart young creative people, we need to solve them.
If you have ideas let’s talk.