In the NBA draft that gets under way tomorrow, a player’s brand as well as his ability is a factor that many team managements are considering.
So says Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. In a recent discussion with Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia and broadcaster Ryan Ruocco on their R2-C2 podcast, Cuban talked about how the rise of social media has led to many players using social media platforms as a way to build a personal brand and generate a second revenue stream.
“Everybody’s trying to get paid off the court somehow,” Cuban said. “Through a shoe deal, through endorsements, just through building up their Instagram and Snapchat and Twitter followings.”
Making sure that a player’s brand aligns with the goals of the team he plays for has become part of the pre-draft vetting process, according to Cuban.
While clips showing off a player’s prowess are often the centerpiece of social media brand building, a player’s online presence can also present his team with liabilities that could outweigh any benefits.
For example, Villanova's Donte DiVincenzo, who led the Wildcats to their second national championship in three seasons this year, may have seen his position in the draft take a hit following a string of Tweets he allegedly posted that contained the N-word and derogatory terms used for gay people.
Cuban also sees an upside to social media brand building. “I’m glad that they’re into their brands,” he said, “because it makes them more careful.”