July 23rd, 2012 By Jack Morton
If you missed the news over the last few weeks, NBA all-pro point guard, Steve Nash, has joined the world super-brand Los Angeles Lakers. Being a Lakers fan, this exemplifies the restoration of the Los Angeles Lakers self-labeled style of play, better known as Showtime. At the same time, the revival of Showtime prospectively leads to the return of a brand all in itself, the Los Angeles Lakers, to global headlines.
One cannot stress enough the importance of branding within the sporting world, which thrives on revenue that is essentially transferred to brands, such as the Los Angeles Lakers, by another brand, such as Steve Nash, and vice-versa. Looking at Steve Nash and the companies that back him (such as Vitamin Water, Bridgestone, and Nike), things could not seem better. Not only should these brands expect to benefit from their product endorser joining the Los Angeles Lakers, but the brand of Steve Nash should undoubtedly grow larger, thriving in the second-largest media market in the United States.
To further illustrate the equation, look no further than Steve Nash’s fellow countryman and IZOD IndyCar Series driver, James Hinchcliffe. Recently being backed by sponsor Godaddy.com, the Mayor of Hinchtown (which is his Twitter handle) has seen his personal brand skyrocket. In addition, Godaddy.com has been introduced into an entirely new market in Canada, witnessed by many in Toronto during the recent IZOD IndyCar Series race there, and due in large part to their newest larger-than-life spokesman, Mr. Hinchcliffe himself.
Branding within sports, if drawn on a piece of paper, should look somewhat like a roundabout. The right athlete can increase brand recognition for a sponsor, while their team or city can increase the athlete’s attractiveness for potential sponsors. In the end all parties should expect an increase in profitability. Steve Nash heading to the Los Angeles Lakers is more than just a headline on ESPN.com. This could shape up to effectively strengthen the brand of Steve Nash, restore the glory and prestige of the Los Angeles Lakers brand, and increase their respective sponsors’ visibility. In the end, all this leaves one Los Angeles Lakers fan smiling from ear to ear!