NBA lockout: Website launched for disenchanted NBA fans
Now 144 days into the NBA lockout, it remains difficult looking for any encouraging signs.
That's why three-year Indiana Pacers ticket holder Evan Massey recently launched NBA Fanifesto, which includes more than 1,400 fan signatures threatening a boycott should both sides fail to start the 2011-2012 season by Christmas Day. Massey, who declined to reveal his profession and age, talked to The Times about his recent role as the site's fan outreach coordinator.
A lot of fans specifically reached out asking if there will be a group effort to boycott the NBA. Some have talked about sending letters to owners and player reps and standing outside of NBA arenas with signs. I don’t know if we’ll go that far, but fans definitely plan on stopping buying NBA products. We don’t think it will make a huge difference, but letting the fans speak their minds to people and giving them some pressure will make them realize the toll it’s taking on the fans.
When you do think these proceedings will significantly hurt the league's fan base?
That point will come in January if they don’t reach a deal. That means there likely won’t be a season. They will lose the majority of their fans. They’ve had more support the last couple of seasons, but they’re not near the top. The NFL is way above them. I believe 30% of hard core fans and 45% of the casual fans will leave.
On the players and owners
I understand a little bit on both sides. The owners are entitled to a 50-50 split, which the players were against in the negotiations. I don’t see what’s wrong with it myself. The owners are signing the paychecks. As for the players, I understand they want to the system issues tweaked. They both have good points, but neither of them want to talk about them and change their opinion.
If there will be a season
We’ll lose a season. I don’t see the two sides agreeing unless the courts force them. After all this time, I don’t see them losing their demands. They’re entrenched with what they want. After they lose a season and all that money and see what it’s done to their fan support, they’re going to be forced to make a deal. I could see right after the season getting canceled that they go to the bargaining tables and get the lockout done before next year’s draft.
On if he'll really cancel his Pacers season tickets
If there’s a season, I’l buy some tickets. But if they lose a season, I’ll have second thoughts. If you have a 50- or 60-game season, you’re willing to forgive. If they do that again, there won’t be much damage. But they have to hurry up.
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Photo: A lost 2011-2012 NBA season could significantly hurt its brand. Credit: David Karp / Associated Press / October 10, 2011