Blog Entry

Deron Williams admits Besiktas is not selling out

Posted on: October 8, 2011 4:06 pm
Posted by Ben Golliver

A few days back
, we noted that New Jersey Nets All-Star point guard Deron Williams, who signed to play with Besiktas of Turkey during the ongoing NBA lockout, is struggling to adapt to the European game. 

On Friday, Williams penned a diary entry on in which he discusses the transition to Besiktas. He notes that its a great bonding experience for his family, that he's still getting used to the spacing of the European game, that he's slowly building chemistry with his new teammates and that he's still getting back into 5-on-5 game shape.

All interesting details. But the following was buried at the bottom, and it sure jumps out. 
The arena we play at seats 3,200 people max, so it's not quite the same environment of an NBA game and it hasn't been full yet because these aren't the really big games. Once we start the Turkish league games, it will be different, I think. But the fans that have been at the games are really good fans. They're really into the game nonstop from tip-off and knowledgeable about it. They've been great to play in front of. 
Yes, you read that correctly. A high-profile NBA All-Star who is arguably one of the top 10 basketball players in the world cannot fill a 3,200 person stadium while playing for one of the higher-profile international professional teams. Williams isn't necessarily a high-flyer, but he plays an exciting game, boasting great vision, an array of attacking dribble moves and an ability to finish in a variety of ways. He's one of those guys near the top of the list of NBA players you would "pay to see," as the saying goes, yet he's drawing a crowd that is no more than 20 percent of an averge NBA crowd.

There's certainly value in landing a high-flight player like Williams, and perhaps Besiktas has some incredible marketing campaigns going on outside the arena to further capitalize on his presence, but it's fair to wonder whether they are getting their money's worth on the multi-million dollar contract they reportedly paid him. Ticket sales are the bread and butter of basketball economics. That base generally needs to get covered if you hope to recoup a major salary investment like the one Besiktas and its sponsor made in Williams.

On the bright side, at least Besiktas is outdrawing the Las Vegas "Lockout League," which struggled to bring in 50 fans on some days. In the end, Williams' experience is Turkey is simply further proof that the NBA and its players badly need each other to reach their respective economic best interests.

Since: Apr 13, 2008
Posted on: October 16, 2011 5:38 pm

Deron Williams admits Besiktas is not selling out

These NBA players don't have the necessities to understand the phrase,Worldwide Great Depression.Pro basketball will be gone by 2050.

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: October 16, 2011 2:05 pm

Deron Williams admits Besiktas is not selling out

 I don't know if you realize the Cavs were 2nd in the NBA in ticket sales last season and sold out 100 percent of their seats for the year.

Sometimes it takes a year or two to see the decrease in the sales.  The Bulls sold out lots of games the year or two after Jordan left, but after that they saw a fallout.  Also, Cavs fans HATED the way LeBron left, and may have been bitter enough to support the team last year.  But if they continue to be bad the ticket sales will fall off. 

Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: October 16, 2011 12:21 pm

Deron Williams admits Besiktas is not selling out

Attendance is not bread and butter for European clubs in any sport.  No matter what country or sport you play in, the goal is to be internationally or globally prestigious.  This is what separates high revenue clubs like Man U, FC Barcelona, and AC Milan from the rest.  Merch sales are typically equal to or greater than ticket sales.  The only exception is German clubs since there is a large enough economy to support those clubs domestically.  In a country like Turkey, your only goal would be to sell jerseys and other apparel to international buyers.

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: October 16, 2011 11:13 am

Deron Williams admits Besiktas is not selling out

There is one thing that we know better than the pet names, players or  owners and that is the team names. Everything else can come and go, but we will still go to see the Lakers, Bulls, Rocket, Knicks and Spurs.

Since: Nov 1, 2009
Posted on: October 16, 2011 4:29 am

Deron Williams admits Besiktas is not selling out

no one cares about basketball in europe... it's basically soccer or nothing. these basketball "franchises" are usually side businesses of football teams and therefore they are not expected to be proftiable. it's just about the prestige.
the besiktas basketball team plays at an arena which seats 3200 people. the besiktas soccer team plays at an arena which seats 32.000 people.

welcome to turkey deron! you are one tenth of a soccer player there!

Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: October 11, 2011 8:33 pm

Deron Williams admits Besiktas is not selling out

the nba players need to work it out!

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: October 10, 2011 5:27 pm

Deron Williams admits Besiktas is not selling out

While it is odd that a high profile signing does not fill out the arena, it is only 3200 seats so that could not the the "bread and butter" of the teams investment return.

But most people in the USA who are not big fans of the NBA know Deron Williams. He played in Utah and seldom on national TV.

And there is no doubt the NBA and the players sell more with each other, players make the fans fill the seats.

That is the lesson the NBA learned in fighting the ABA. Those fans old enough to remember know that basketball fans were flocking to the ABA games because the play was more exciting than most NBA games. The red, white n blue balls were not the major draw even though it was cool.

Owners are who come and go. Fans only notice owners when a team wins or when the owner is too cheap to field a good team. NBA fans know the owner of "their" team but outside of Buss and Cuban, the other 28 could not be picked out of a lineup.

Any one want to say they remember more about who the owners were during the time when Houston and Detroit were winning their NBA titles. Maybe some hardcore NBA fans know who owned the Bulls teams in that time frame.

I willing to bet every basketball fan knows about "the Dream"," the Microwave" and "the Bad Boys". And don't talk about Rodman of Scottie Pippen. Fans even remember "the Bruise Brothers" from the 80s.

Anyone think they can rattle off those owners names without doing an internet search?

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: October 10, 2011 3:04 pm

Deron Williams admits Besiktas is not selling out

LeBron to that franchise and added 200-300 million in value making it one of the most attractive franchises in the NBA.  The owner stayed and the player left and the franchise instantly lost 350 mill in terms of overall value.  Now you tell me who was more important.

First of all the owners and league are much more important in the NBA then THESE players are ...... players come and go all of the time and the league survives.    When it comes to adding value to a team and marketability, not too many players are even in the same league as Lebron James is and Michael Jordan was.  Those players added hundreds of millions to the value of their respective teams, very few if any other players in the NBA do what those players did.

Finally, Cleveland lost very little, maybe even nothing when Lebron left.  Sound crazy, right?  That 350 million decrease you're talking about was if and only if the Cavs owner sold the team the day Lebron left.  I don't know if you realize the Cavs were 2nd in the NBA in ticket sales last season and sold out 100 percent of their seats for the year.

Doesn't look like they are hurting to me.... and that's with the Cavs struggling. Imagine the excitement when they become mediocre or even start winning again.... 

Since: Sep 2, 2006
Posted on: October 10, 2011 12:42 pm

Deron Williams admits Besiktas is not selling out

ben golliver is an economics expert now?..........the reason besiktas signed williams is to raise their international profile first and sell tickets second.

Since: Mar 2, 2008
Posted on: October 10, 2011 12:20 pm

Deron Williams admits Besiktas is not selling out

To be fair.  His race is no longer a special attraction in Europe, you can find those guys anywhere these days.  In the 80s you could get away with a Williams their and have sell-outs with ease, simply due to the circus style appeal of the athlete.  Times change, Williams ain't even an MJ when it comes to worldwide appeal, which is another issue altogether.

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