SBD/July 15, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies

NBA Lockout Watch, Day 15: League Cuts 114 Jobs Across Many Departments

The NBA confirmed that it has cut 114 jobs, or about 11% of its workforce, at its league office. NBA Senior VP/Marketing Communications Mike Bass said the layoffs are part of a $50M cost-cutting effort by the league. “The layoffs are not a direct result of the lockout but rather a response to the same underlying issue that is the league’s expenses far outpace our revenue,” Bass said. The cuts are across all areas of the NBA’s business, but not all departments had layoffs. The league has also shut its Tokyo and Paris offices and shuttered a studio at its Secaucus, N.J., offices. The NBA last had a layoff in '08, when the league office cut about 80 jobs (John Lombardo, SportsBusiness Journal). USA TODAY's Jeff Zillgitt reports the now-vacant positions "won't be refilled when the lockout ends." Those in the Paris office "who were not laid off will work in the London office, and those still with the NBA in Tokyo will work in the Hong Kong office." The league said that it lost nearly $350M during the '09-10 season, and nearly $300M last year (USA TODAY, 7/15). In N.Y., Howard Beck reports while the NBA "declined to offer specifics, the layoffs included a number of senior-level executives." All of the affected employees "were offered severance packages." NBA Deputy Commissioner & COO Adam Silver informed the owners of the layoffs in a memo, calling them "part of our larger efforts to restructure our operations and create a long-term sustainable business that is well-positioned for future growth." The league plans to shut down its Secaucus studio, "where the draft lottery is staged each year," later this summer. The NBA "has not identified a new home for the lottery, but it will likely be held at an ESPN or ABC studio in Manhattan." Commercial shoots and "other programming that had been done in Secaucus will be moved to Atlanta" (N.Y. TIMES, 7/15).
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