The NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks plans to fulfill star Giannis Antetokounmpo and finalize plans for financial growth

Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo # 34 heads to the basket against Bam Adebayo # 13 of Miami Heat in the second half at the American Airlines Arena on March 2, 2020 in Miami, Florida.

Michael Reaves | Getty Images

The clock is almost starting again for the Milwaukee Bucks.

Owned by Avenue Capital CEO and Chairman Marc Lasry, the team has an international star in their hands, along with striker Giannis Antetokounmpo, who was named MVP of the National Basketball Association last season.

Like most NBA superstars, Antetokounmpo, the 25-year-old phenomenon from Athens, Greece, is the accelerator for the bucks’ business. Since the All-Star Team was founded in 2017, Antetokounmpo has helped grow sales from $ 179 million to around $ 280 million per season, and the team’s participation increased from April 27th to 17th in 2019 Place in the league.

The Bucks have also gained fans across Europe with the help of Antetokounmpo’s success. But now that he’s an MVP, the window to winning a title is open. And in the NBA, superstars want championships or they look elsewhere.

The NBA returns on December 22nd, a little over 100 days after the Bucks were eliminated from the league’s bubble playoffs. After the exit, rumors about the future of Antetokounmpo surfaced on Twitter and in all league circles.

“Getting a star to help bring an image and playoff games etc. to your market has a positive effect on the bucks’ branding as well as on sponsorship, broadcast and fan interest,” said Tony Ponturo, Marketing Director.

But “it can only be for a short time. You have to keep building your teams. So if you lose the star, there is still something to do,” said Ponturo, former vice president of global media sports and entertainment marketing for Anheuser-Busch.

Renderings of the apartment building in the Deer District in Milwaukee

Source: Milwaukee Bucks

The real estate game

The team that shut down the NBA on August 26 to protest another police shooting of a black man are now preparing for a life without a spectator.

The NBA issued guidelines on how fans can return, but the teams require permission from local government officials to proceed. As Covid-19 cases increase, team presidents must campaign for these permits.

Peter Feigin, president of Bucks and the team’s arena, Fiserv Forum, said the season will start without fans. The Bucks will switch to purely digital ticketing, plan to move to mobile ordering for concessions, and work with data company SAP to integrate detailed arena analytics.

The long-term plan focuses on what sports franchise appraiser Roger Grabowski called “surrounding investments”.

“Most teams today use the stadiums and the surrounding area as a whole, not just as a team,” said Grabowski, managing director of financial advisory firm Duff & Phelps.

Lasry and the company are counting on Feigin to further transform the franchise, which the group bought for $ 550 million in 2014. According to Forbes, the team is currently valued at $ 1.5 billion. That number is likely to go up as Feigin completes what the team calls the Deer District.

The 30-acre community is part of the team’s economic development plan, to which taxpayers contributed $ 250 million. It earned the Bucks a $ 524 million arena that opened in 2018.

The area will include more high-end apartments, and Marriott has committed to a hotel due to open in 2023. Feigin said plans for office space larger than 200,000 square feet are being re-examined due to Covid-19.

But he wants a “supermarket, pharmacy, gym, all the little things that make this a livable and workable destination that people want to be at.”

“To make this come alive, you need density,” Feigin said. “And to have density, we need a few hundred people to work there and a few hundred residential units to create a neighborhood, as well as all of the other infrastructure elements.”

An empty seat and bench will be cleared prior to the start of a scheduled game between the Milwaukee Bucks and Orlando Magic for the fifth game of the first round of the Eastern Conference during the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena in the ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on Shown August 26th. 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Kevin C. Cox | Getty Images Sports | Getty Images

Race for 1 billion fans

The team is in good shape on the basketball side, thanks in large part to Antetokounmpo.

Feigin said the Bucks’ television partnerships are secured for another five years. The deal with Sinclair’s Fox Sports Wisconsin is worth around $ 200 million.

The team’s jersey patch deal with Harley-Davidson ends after the next season, but Feigin said three global patch deals are on the table and should be finalized before the end of 2020.

The NBA expects an increase in their patch revenue after the patches have been resized to make them more visible. You are now also open to international partnerships. The new piece: Global companies marketing to local fan bases in the US

“I think these next-generation patch deals will redefine the value of the patch in a great way,” said Feigin. “It took a couple of years, but the brand realized the power of the impressions and the global reach.”

And as Antetokounmpo increases the team’s interest in places like Indonesia and China, a mega-market for the NBA, the Bucks should see their global brand grow, which will boost sales.

“What makes Giannis so different is the European attraction,” said Feigin. “He’s a European star and it got all these European countries to follow him.”

“For us it is the race for 1 billion fans,” added Feigin. “We don’t want to be Wisconsin’s team. We don’t want to be America’s team. We want to be a global team. We want to be the NBA’s figurehead for success around the world.”

Giannis Antetokounmpo of Milwaukee Bucks during the team’s statement to the media on August 26, 2020 at AdventHealth Arena at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando, Florida.

Jesse D. Garrabrant / NBAE via Getty Images

Keep the ‘Greek freak’

In order for this to happen and for the Deer District to attract businesses and the patch to add value, it helps if Antetokounmpo wears a Bucks uniform.

On Monday, the Bucks acquired security guard Jrue Holiday of the New Orleans Pelicans and sniper Bogdan Bogdanovic of the Sacramento Kings in a series of transactions aimed at keeping their star happy.

Antetokounmpo met with the best of the Bucks to discuss the team’s future after the team’s disappointing exit from the playoffs in September. He is slated to reach the free agency in 2021 and will be eligible for a Supermax contract worth approximately $ 250 million.

Antetokounmpo recently told Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet that he wanted to make sure that both parties are on one side in the competition for a title.

Should this happen, “I will be there for many years to come,” said Antetokounmpo. “If they don’t, we’ll see. The NBA is a business and we take it every day. Hopefully we can be successful together.”

Feigin said it was a “moment in time” to seize opportunities while the team has its international superstar. The Bucks are on and off the court in win-now mode to please Antetokounmpo and grow the business.

The clock starts again on December 22nd.

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