The NBA Just Earned a Prestigious Honor From TIME and the NFL Won’t Catch Up at This Rate

The NBA recently earned a prestigious honor from TIME magazine, and it’s well deserved. After leading the sports world with their response to the coronavirus pandemic via the much-talked-about Orlando bubble, the league is flourishing. While there were setbacks during the 2020 season and the league’s revenue is down slightly, things are looking up. Fans are partially back in attendance, and Commissioner Adam Silver is hoping for continued growth.

The NBA earns a spot on the TIME 100 list

TIME recently published its first annual TIME100 Most Influential Companies List. The list spotlights 100 diverse businesses changing and shaping the future. It’s broken down into five categories: the Pioneers, Leaders, Innovators, Titans, and Disrupters. In order to make the list, TIME used a simple formula. Take nominations from a variety of industries, including health care, entertainment, technology, and more. From that point, company evaluations took place based on their impact, leadership, innovation, and success.

Five of the companies selected received an in-depth profile and their own cover on the magazine. Adam Silver and the NBA became one of the organizations to make that list. In a year when the NBA faced much adversity, everything from playing in the Orlando bubble to protests regarding social injustices, it’s a relief that the league’s strides toward new growth are acknowledged.

What other sports brands made the list?

The NBA topped the Leaders section of the list. But other sports-related brands joined them. Here’s a quick recap of the seven other sporting brands included in the magazine.

  • Peloton’s overwhelming demand for its exercise equipment during the pandemic landed them a spot on Time’s list.
  • Adidas made the list due to its commitment to reduce its carbon footprint. Seen as a modern-day innovator, the company is using more recycled materials and reducing its waste.  
  • Nike’s strong marketing campaign that’s rallying against social injustices helped the company make the influential list.
  • Klutch Sports Group’s expansion from the NBA to the NFL and MLB helped land them on the list.
  • Easily making the list is Flutter Entertainment. The gambling giant’s significant growth during the pandemic made it an easy decision.
  • Used by athletes, the breakthrough app Strava added a new way to track exercise and connect with others.
  • Time only included one other sports league besides the NBA: the English Premier League. The football giant’s broadcasting rights, allowing fans to watch worldwide, make it a solid addition.

Why did Time single out the NBA?

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks before the 2020 NBA Finals
Commissioner Adam Silver before the 2020 NBA Finals | Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The NBA received the prestigious accolade due in part to nearly doubling its revenue over the past several years. Of course, the pandemic ate into parts of its projected revenue — nearly $10 billion — but Commissioner Adam Silver doesn’t doubt it’ll continue to increase. 

He also credits much of the growth within the league to technology. Watching games from phones and having players more actively involved in social media draws fans into the game. He’s convinced that Blockchain and other sources of digital assets will change basketball and fan’s experience with the game.

He told TIME, “There very well may be a Blockchain application for ticketing. It will have less to do with the technology and more to do with, instead of throwing a ticket stub in your drawer, it might be a more convenient way to carry that memory with you. Where you pull out your smartphone and say to somebody, here it is. This was that all-important game I attended. This is where I met my partner.”

The NBA is blazing new paths and acting as a leader in technology in sports. At this point, other leagues — namely the NFL, are light years behind and may not catch up.

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