When a city wins a championship in one of the big 4 professional sports league in America which consists of the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL, what are the socio-economic implications to the winning city?
Why does it mean so much to the owners, athletes, and civilians of the city that win the championship.
To narrow down my search criteria, I will focus on the National Basketball Association (NBA) and look into the most recent championship that occurred this past February. The Cleveland Cavaliers won the 2016 NBA Championship ending a title-less drought of 52 years. As a result, the city of Cleveland celebrated with a city-wide parade of 2.9 million entered the streets to commemorate the accomplishment of their cities own Cavaliers.
The Cleveland Cavaliers won the championship but I like to believe that they weren’t the real winners of the day. I hypothesis that the people who are shareholders of the team, mainly the owner which in this case Dan Gilbert, is the real winner of the day. From sky rocketing sales of championship memorabilia, increased reputation of the team, and team evaluations going up, the real winners of winning the championship is the owner. The players of the winning team also do well as many choose to leave the team in search for more lucrative deals from willing teams and the continuity of a championship team that once existed is left.
The real economic impact of a championship is rather hard to measure because of the “winning feeling” that arises after a championship. Time.com back in 2014 estimates that LeBron James, the Cavaliers star player, is worth almost $500 million to the city of Cleveland.
The greater impact of a championship lies in the winning feeling that a championship brings. It is why owners spend hundreds of millions of dollars on their players and why cities can bond together and celebrate under a singular cause.
Thanks for the read!