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NBA vs. MBA: the collision of basketball and business

Guest Post submitted by Harrison Kratz


The 2012 NBA Finals just ended with the Miami Heat capturing the title. decided to put their own spin on the NBA Finals to look at the broader picture of business and basketball.

While the NBA may not be the most popular major sports league in the country, it is certainly driven by its players and stars more than any other league. Marquee players drive revenue through the roof for the teams they play for, and in some cases, they can improve an entire city’s economic outlook. Because of the clout these players have, the intersection between business and the basketball court is undeniable.

This relationship between the hardwood and the boardroom allows for some great comparisons between NBA players and some of the highest earning executives (LeBron has a long way to go to catch Phil Knight on the financial stat sheet) as well examine the NBA players who have seen as much success of the court as they have had on it.

While it goes without saying that Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan each have numerous ventures of their own including ownership of professional sports teams, few people know about the entrepreneurial prowess of 2-time league MVP and current Phoenix Sun Steve Nash. Nash, a natural entrepreneur, is involved in numerous ventures and online companies and is also an actor, writer, and philanthropist. If that wasn’t enough, he also has part ownership in a skincare line, a gym and professional soccer team.

The worth of NBA teams and Business Schools is even further comparable. The overall endowments of the top business schools, Harvard and Stanford, are well over the worth of the Heat and Thunder. Harvard alone has a $2.8 billion endowment- almost four times the worth of the Heat and Thunder combined.

To see the influence these players have on up and coming NBA stars, look no further than this year’s draft. Former UNC Tar Heel Harrison Barnes stayed an extra year in Chapel Hill in order to build his personal brand and understand the economic side even further. Barnes’ former teammate Tyler Zeller, who has a BSBA from UNC Kenan Flagler Business School, chose to stay in stay for four years and earn his degree before entering the draft. Clearly, excellence on the court is not the only thing in these rookies’ sights.

To take an even deeper dive into the intersection of business and the NBA, check out the infographic below to see stats on MBA executives and business schools in comparison to the stars and teams of this year’s Finals.


Via HowToMBA and Earn MBA

Harrison Kratz is the Community Manager for MBA@UNC, an online MBA program from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill which gives students the opportunity to earn an MBA degree from anywhere in the world. He sticks to his entrepreneurial roots as the founder of the global social good campaign, Tweet Drive. Feel free to connect with him on Twitter, @KratzPR!

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3 Responses to NBA vs. MBA: the collision of basketball and business

  1. Bankruptcy Lawyer MN May 26, 2014 at 4:49 am #

    Hi there just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let
    you know a few of the pictures aren’t loading correctly. I’m not sure why
    but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different web browsers and both show the same outcome.

  2. Sandra Johnson November 21, 2017 at 11:01 pm #

    As I was a college basketball player in my student life, I still love NBA & WNBA. Hope, you’ll publish a post on NBA vs WNBA. Best wishes.

  3. blackberriesexplain August 16, 2022 at 2:51 am #

    The value of NBA teams and that of top business schools are even more comparable in other ways. The total endowments of the most prestigious business super mario bros schools, such as Harvard and Stanford, are significantly higher than the value of the Heat and the Thunder. One of Harvard’s endowments is worth $2.8 billion, which is almost four times as much as both the Heat and the Thunder put together.

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