NBA Finals mean big business for tickets, merchandise, TV
June 11, 2010
BOSTON â€” An NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers is almost certain to pump ticket prices, merchandise sales and TV ratings. This year's Finals are drawing the biggest TV audiences and ratings since the Lakers played the Detroit Pistons in 2004. And the NBA has also issued 1,900 media credentials, about 100 more than last year for the Lakers vs. Orlando Magic.
Through the first three games, merchandise sales were up 10% at the NBA's flagship retail store in New York and at NBA.com compared with the first three games of the Celtics-Lakers Finals in 2008, says Sal LaRocca, the league's executive vice president of global merchandising.
Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has the best-selling jersey, while Celtics guard Rajon Rondo has moved into second place.
"Beat LA Again" T-shirts are hot sellers in New England. Lakers car flags are popular on the West Coast.
"Jersey sales are huge sellers in Boston. Not so much in Los Angeles," LaRocca says.
The NBA expected to generate global retail sales of $3 billion for the 2009-10 season.
Ticket prices in the secondary resale market are up 20% vs. last year, says Christian Anderson of FanSnap. The average prices for Games 4 and 5 in Boston were $564.73 and $684.93.
But prices will nearly double if the series moves back to the West Coast.