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Popularity of Basketball in UK, is it the next Big Market?

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When talking about the most popular sports in the UK, you wouldn’t necessarily expect to hear basketball being mentioned. However, the sport has gathered some momentum over the last five years or so and is steadily rising in both participation and spectator numbers.

With this growth in popularity comes the increase in bets placed on the sport. Go to any main bookmaker online and you won’t struggle to find basketball betting among the array of sports to choose from. So, is basketball the next big betting market in the UK? We take a look at how UK basketball has gotten to where it is today and where it could go in the future.

Basketball in the UK has had a rather checkered past. Established in 1987, the British Basketball League (BBL) saw rapid growth in the early 1990s, most likely due to the rising popularity of the NBA in the UK, with Hall of Famer Michael Jordan coming to prominence in the sport and inspiring a generation to get involved in the sport.

For the next decade, basketball in the UK saw healthy progression, with record attendances and commercial sponsorship deals to even rival football, with the likes of Budweiser, Peugeot and Playboy all attaching their brands to the new venture. It looked as though basketball was going to be the most popular pastime besides football betting in the UK – that was until the early 2000s.

The new millennium saw a change in fortunes. ITV Digital, which was set to become the biggest subscription based sports channel in the UK, collapsed. The BBL were due to receive more than £21 million pounds in TV revenue as a result of the deal, but missed out on the essential funding. This led to multiple BBL teams such as Essex Leopards, Birmingham Bullets and the Manchester Giants pulling out of the league, with some franchises folding completely under the financial strain.

It’s taken a long time for basketball in the UK to recover. After sell-out crowds at Wembley Arena in 2012 and 2014; the 2015 BBL play-off finals took place in front of record crowds at the 02 Arena in London. Since then, franchises have continued to develop their facilities and build the necessary foundations for the sport to once again rise to prominence in the UK. The hard work that the BBL and the franchises have put in over the last decade looks to be coming to fruition, as Leicester became the first British basketball participant in Europe for 11 years when they played in the Basketball Champions League and the FIBA Europe Cup in the 2018/19 season.

With basketball in the UK now looking back on the rise, it would be no surprise to see an increase in the amount of bets placed on the sport as a direct result. An indicator that online bookmakers are taking the sport seriously can be seen when looking at the amount of markets that are on offer. It’s not just match outright odds, you can now bet on handicap, or ‘spread’ markets, winning margin and total match points to name just a few.

A recent study by the UK Gambling Commission estimated more than £14 billion is spent on gambling in the UK. Maybe it’s time for basketball to get a bigger piece of that pie.

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Looking For A Few Great Voices!

From time to time we have open chairs at Basketball Insiders for writers looking to gain experience, grow their brand and to be part of an aggressive up-tempo content team.

Basketball Insiders

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From time to time we have open chairs at Basketball Insiders for writers looking to gain experience, grow their brand and to be part of an aggressive up-tempo content team.

We are considering adding new voices for the 2020-21 NBA Season, and what we are looking for is very specific.

Here are the criteria:
– A body of professional work that reflects an understanding of the NBA and basketball.
– Must live within 30 minutes of an NBA team.
– Must be willing to write two to three times per week on various topics as assigned.
– Must write in AP style and meet assigned deadlines.
– Be willing to appear in Podcasts and Video projects as needed and scheduled.
– Have a strong understanding of social media and its role in audience development.
– Be willing to work in a demanding virtual team environment.

Some things to know and consider:
– We are not hiring full-time people. If you are seeking a full-time gig, this is not that.
– This will be a low or non-compensation role initially. We need to understand your value and fit.
– We have a long track record of creating opportunities for those that excel in our program.
– This will be a lengthy interview and evaluation process. We take this very seriously, so should you.
– If you are not committed to being great, this is not the right situation for you.

If you are interested, please follow these specific instructions, Drop us an e-mail with:

Your Name:

The NBA Market You Live Near:

And Why We Should Consider You:

We do not need your resume, but a few links to work you have done under the above information would be helpful.

Please send all of this to: openings2021@basketballinsiders.com

 

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The 28 highest-paid players in the NBA for the 2019-20 season

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On-court NBA salaries are based on a player’s number of years in the league and accolades earned, such as awards like MVP which entitle players to a larger percentage of a team’s salary cap. Now let’s get down to it.

28. CJ McCollum

Team: Portland Trail Blazers

Salary: $27,556,959

27. DeMar DeRozan

Team: San Antonio Spurs

Salary: $27,739,975

26. Al Horford

Team: Philadelphia 76ers

Salary: $28,000,000

25. Nikola Vucevic

Team: Orlando Magic 

Salary: $28,000,000

24. Kevin Love

Team: Cleveland Cavaliers 

Salary: $28,942,830

23. Paul Millsap

Team: Denver Nuggets

Salary: $30,350,000

22. Khris Middleton

Team: Milwaukee Bucks

Salary: $30,603,448

21. Kyrie Irving

Team: Brooklyn Nets

Salary: $31,742,000

20. Mike Conley

Team: Utah Jazz 

Salary: $32,511,624

19.Gordon Hayward

Team: Boston Celtics 

Salary: $32,700,690

18. Tobias Harris

Team: Philadelphia 76ers

Salary: $32,742,000

17. Kahwi Leonard

Team: Los Angeles Clippers 

Salary: $32,742,000

16. Kemba Walker

Team: Boston Celtics 

Salary: $32,742,000

15. Jimmy Butler

Team: Miami Heat 

Salary: $32,742,000

14. Paul George

Team: Los Angeles Clippers

Salary: $33,005,556

13. Black Griffin

Team: Detroit Pistons 

Salary: $34,449,964

12. Kyle Lowry

Team: Toronto Raptors

Salary: $34,996,296 

11. John Wall

Team: Washington Wizards 

Salary: $38,199,000

The Top 

Rankings for NBA stars salary are largely determined by their off-court income – with sneaker contracts making up the majority of those earnings. We’ve included endorsements in the Top 10 according to Forbes to give a clear picture of the kind of money these NBA stars are earning. 

10. Damian Lillard

Salary: $29,802,321

Endorsements: $14 million

Oregan-based Damian Lillard signed a 5 year contract with Portland Trail Blazers and has endorsement deals with Adidas, Powerade, Spalding, Panini, Foot Locker, JBL, Biofreeze, Moda Health, and Hulu. Lilliard would not have made our top 10 based on salary alone, in 2014 he negotiated a 10 year deal with Adidas worth up to $100 million, seeing him come in at number 10 for the 2019/20 highest paid NBA players with an estimated total of $43.8 million.

9. Giannis Antetokounmpo

Salary: $25,842,697

Endorsements: $20 million

Greek-born Giannis Antetokounmpo who plays for the Milwaukee Bucks on a 4 year contract makes our number 9,  at an estimated total of $45.8 million, where without endorsements he would only have been the 41st highest paid player. Giannis has endorsement deals with Nike, Hulu, T-Mobile, JBL and 2K Sports. Signing a deal with Nike in 2017 reported to pay an estimated $9 million in the first year. Nike released his first signature shoe in 2019. His second edition dropped just a few weeks ago.

8. Chris Paul

Salary: $38,506,482

Endorsements: $8 million

Oklahoma City Thunder’s point guard Chris Paul’s salary of $38,506,482 is the second highest NBA salary in the 2019/20 season. Paul has endorsement deals with Nike, Spalding and Walt Disney, as well as being a regular in commercials for insurance giant State Farm. We estimate his 2019/20 salary at a total of $46.5 million.

7. Klay Thompson

Salary: $32,742,000

Endorsements: $15 million

Known as one of the best shooters in NBA history, Golden State Warrior Klay Thompson finds his place at number 7 on our list. Making 72.42 percent more than in 2018/19, and with endorsements from Panini, BodyArmor, Anta Sports Products, Electronic Arts, and Gillette, we estimate this NBA star at a total salary of $47.7 million for 2019/20 season.

6. Kyrie Irving

Salary: $31,742,000

Endorsements: $20 million

Kyrie Irving signed a 4 year contract with the Brooklyn Nets, seeing his on-court salary come in at $31,742,000 this season. Irving endorses major brands including  Nike and Pepsi, seeing his total estimated income at $51.7 million. His Nike shoe is among the NBA’s top sellers, and Irving donated $1.5 million to help cover the salaries of WNBA players sitting out this season.

5. James Harden

Salary: $37,800,000

Endorsements: $17 million

One of the NBA’s most prolific scorers, James Harden cements the top 5 on our list. Three times league MVP runner up in 2015, 2017,and 2019, and 2018 ‘s MVP, Harden has partnered with Amazon to share his go-to workout products, and has endorsement deals with Adidas and BodyArmor. This season his estimated salary comes in at $54.8 million.

4. Russell Westbrook

Salary: $38,178,000

Endorsements: $18 million

Nine-time NBA All-Star, Russell Westbrook, signed a 5 year Super Max contract with Oklahoma City Thunder and was traded to the Houston Rockets. A year after signing the largest contract in Jordan Brand history in 2017, Westbrook got his own signature shoe. Apart from Nike, Russell endorses global brands like Samsung and PepsiCo, giving him an estimated total income of $56 million for the 2019/20 NBA season.

3. Kevin Durant

Salary: $37,199,000

Endorsements: $35 million

Power Forward Kevin Durant plays on a 4 year contract for the Brooklyn Nets. This ten-time All-Star earns an estimated $35 million from endorsement deals with Nike, Google and Alaska air group. Durant is also an avid investor with stakes in more than a 100 emerging companies. We see him at number 3 with a total of $72 million this 2019/2020 season.

2. Stephen Curry

Salary: $40,231,758

Endorsements: $45 million

Golden State Warriors’ point guard Stephen Curry, is the highest-paid NBA player of the season. Analysts and players alike have called him the greatest shooter in NBA history. Since 2014, Stephen has had a shoe deal with Under Armour, which contributes to his endorsement income (which has tripled in the last year), among other partnerships with JP Morgan Chase, Vivo and Brita. His total income this season comes in at an estimated total of $85 million.

1. LeBron James 

Salary: $37,436,858

Endorsements: $55 million

Based on salary alone, LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers would otherwise have ranked in at #4 on the list, however, with Nike as his biggest backer, LeBron lands the number 1 spot for highest paid NBA player for the sixth year straight, coming in at an estimated $92 million for the 2019/2020 NBA season. James holds equity in a number of companies, including his own film and TV brand the SpringHill Company, which co-produced the upcoming sequel to Space Jam. 

 

Have your part

While you may not be an NBA All-Star yourself, you can still join in on the fun! Sportsbook casinos allow you to get in on the action of your favourite sports stars. Not into sports betting? Why not try something more up your alley like online bingo

 

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What Does Cloud Gaming Tell Us About the Future of the Industry?

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Cloud gaming is possibly the biggest trend to emerge from the industry in 2020. With Microsoft’s new xCloud (available through the Xbox Games Pass), Amazon’s latest project Luna, and Google’s own streaming project, Stadia, streaming looks ready to elevate the world of gaming to new heights in 2021.

As a result, there is a growing sense among the global video game community that we should anticipate significant changes to our gaming experiences in the near future, and that, from now own, all aspects of game development will need to work to keep pace with a new era for the industry.

So, what does the new wave of instant cloud streaming services for games suggest for 2021, and beyond? Read more below.

Variety Remains the Name of the Game

Though the digital and physical gaming libraries offered by the biggest names in the business have long offered an incredible portfolio of diverse and creative titles, never before have gamers been able to transition so easily (and instantaneously) between the games they love. This new move toward game streaming demonstrates just how important versatility and variation are to players, and how desperate developers are to capture – and cater – to this trend.

We can see this in all areas of the gaming industry. In the world of casino, for instance, the variety of sports-themed games is proof of just how hard developers are working to capture players’ interests, and to stand out among the growing list of competitors hoping for a slice of the market.

Digital libraries will need to corner every niche and genre to keep up with the demands of fans; the history of basketball games alone is testament to just how hard developers work to appeal to their market.

 Mobile Gaming Will Continue to Dominate

It’s no surprise that mobile gaming is so popular. Our phones offer the most versatile platform for pursuing our gaming habits – wherever we are, whenever we have the time. Microsoft’s xCloud coincides with the release of their latest console, the Xbox Series X, in order to ensure that they are catering to the priorities of the gaming market: powerful gameplay that is versatile enough to transition seamlessly between the at-home set up, and the daily commute.

In response, tech giants are already releasing a new line-up of phones optimised for a strong gaming experience, and the long-awaited release of 5G will only improve this experience for all of us.

We May Well See the End of Disc-Based Games

Disc-based games have been going out of fashion for many years now as subscription services from PlayStation and Xbox, APP store downloads, and digital releases have been steadily gaining momentum.

Now, with the introduction of instant streaming services, we can anticipate a much more rapid shift away from hard copies. Much like the decline of the CD following the release of music streaming services like Spotify, Google Music, and Apple Music, it looks likely that the future of the gaming industry exists in the digital realm.

What this means for the pre-owned video game market is unclear, but what is clear is that we can anticipate a considerable move away from the physical gaming library as players find it easier than ever to browse and play anticipated titles without purchasing each one individually.

Over the next few months, we should all brace ourselves for some significant changes within the industry. As xCloud and Luna gain momentum – and rapidly grow their digital libraries to accommodate the new generation of consoles – there will be plenty to look forward to and get to grips with as we head into 2021, and beyond.

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