Sports Mayhem has officially hit Los Angeles aka “City of Playoffs“ and while it may be short lived (I don’t see how the Lakers are going to come close to beating the Thunder) the LA Lakers, LA Clippers, and LA Kings are alive and well deep into the playoffs!
Even my good buddy David Beckham agreed with me as he gazed into my eyes (or my camera) as we gathered at the Staples Center for Game 1 of the Lakers-Nuggets Series.It was probably the coolest NBA game I had ever been to and the city of LA was just getting started! During my recent 8 day trip to Southern California every night it seemed one of them was taking to the court or the ice. And I wasn’t dreaming.
To say that the Staples Center was busy this past weekend is an understatement. The Staples Center crew definitely should get a well deserved day off today as they recover from an insane sports weekend catering to not 1, but 3 playoff teams in one weekend! LA hosted 6 playoff games in a mere 4 days and converting a hockey rink to a basketball court in 2 hours is no small feat. But LA managed to pull it off.
Some cities that would be so lucky as to even have one professional sports team reach the playoffs were now staring at three of them all being in contention for a title. And it was noticeable. For a city that some stereotype as people who don’t care about their sports this city was buzzing and talking about it.
The applications go well beyond the teams and it delves into sports business too. So what does all of this mayhem mean from a business side of things? (Other than the business they gained from me paying half a month’s rent for Lakers tickets, at least I got some photos and had fun!)
City of Playoffs = A Great Economic Impact
Like I said the city does not fit the stereotype of being laid back fans about their sports. I also went to Dodgers and Angels games while I was out there and those were both more of the same passion on display from LA’s finest. From a business side of things, playoff fever signals a positive economic impact to LA for a few different reasons.
Restaurants and Bars
The more these teams stay in the playoff hunt the more you see places like this filled up. It is good for the industry and healthy and alive industries are always good for any city. The amount of additional income a niche sports bar in LA that shows the LA Kings game on HD may help them have one of the busiest months they have ever seen.
People go out to watch these games. Bars and Restaurants are the two most noticeable areas to draw the business but grocery chains and convenient stores see a bump on weeknights if local teams are playing.
Overall all legal business is good business for the city of LA and they are seeing an awful lot of it right now.
Apparel, Team Shops, and Season Tickets
Success breeds more jerseys, hats, T-shirts, and any other type of apparel you can find. Playoff runs build extra revenue and extra games. Playoff runs are never promised nor ever guaranteed. Apparel sales increase at playoff games. All of the sudden people get wrapped up in the moment and want to splurge on their teams new playoff merchandise to show their support while at the game.
Additionally the teams build revenue and success for future years in season tickets.
High hopes from fans build season tickets into the next season. Expectations are raised and if they are met and worked on to exceed then fans are happy and more likely to come out to more and more games.
The LA Kings magical run this year will certainly increase their season ticket holders for next year and for more years to come if they keep pulling off these miracle games!
Travel and Tourism
One facet of this mayhem that people may not think of a great business source for a city is travel and tourism. Not just for teams from visiting cities that would travel in for the games during the run but after the series is over.
Can you imagine if the Lakers and Clippers meet in the Conference Finals? Or if the LA Kings win the Stanley Cup as a #8 Seed??
All of the sudden the national media coverage is “LA LA LA LA LA LA” and every time you turn on the TV or the radio or get onto the internet there are sunny, beautiful photos of Southern California.
Those photos keep getting imprinted in your head and all of the sudden next fall you are taking your family to LA to go to Disneyland and an early season LA Clippers Miami Heat game.
It happens. The coverage (unless of course the fans decide to riot after a win or loss) will eventually lead into great free advertising for the city of LA and a boost in the next 12 months to the travel and tourism area.
THE BIG PICTURE
I am talking about the bigger picture for the city of LA for years to come.
- World Cup?
- Another Olympics?
- CEO’s of companies that decide to hold their Fortune 500 employee retreat in LA.
This sports mayhem in LA equals publicity, free advertising, massive exposure, and pure passion of a city that sometimes gets stereotyped as being too busy to be at the beach instead of the game.
This may be true of the city of Miami (I mean look at this arena for a tip off!) but not LA. My good friend who lives there told me while visiting that if the Lakers are playing a noon tip on a Saturday or Sunday in Boston or New York sports bars will open at 9am and have a packed house.
My other friend who used to live there said that every broke kid in their 20s loves going to the LA Kings games because the Kings did a great job of saying thank you to that specific fan base – which in LA there are a lot of!
LA is in the midst of something special. And it is not just special for the teams and the sports fans but it is special for the entire city. It puts an iconic city in the middle of national exposure every day of the week and until this run ends they should latch onto it and enjoy the ride for all it is worth!
My personal prediction if interested is the Lakers and Clippers both go down in 5 in Round 2!
What are some other recent examples of cities getting taking over like the new “city of playoffs”? Has LA done a good job of capitalizing on this momentum? Post your comments or memories of other cities experiencing that below or tweet us. And as always thanks for reading!