As far as American sports go, few can sniff the air of success of the two most popular U.S. sports brands -- the NBA and NFL.
And while the two have a lot of similarities in how they operate, there is a very glaring difference in the way they choose to market their "product." Marc Cuban recently pointed out these differences on ESPN's morning show, "Get Up!"
NFL sells the NFL. NBA sells its players. NFL markets the NFL. NBA markets its players, and players drive who we are in the NBA. You couldn't identify 90% of NFL players if they were standing right in front of you. NFL players don't make nearly as much off the field, other than the QB.
It is true that the NBA is player-based. We recognize stars like James Harden, Steph Curry, and even a tier-C guy like Jaylen Brown because the league puts an emphasis on these faces and sharing their stories. This strategy has them at the forefront of relevance in an era of the sports-marketing boom.
The NFL just kind of tries to sell the game itself. And while that strategy had not prevented them from being at the top, one has to think they might stand to do even better if they followed in the NBA's footsteps. Maybe they should consider a change?