SBJ/20090727/This Week's News

NBA teams can drop printed media guides

The NBA is cutting out printed team media guides for the first time, dropping its requirement for teams to publish the glossy guides, a six-figure cost savings for some franchises.

Instead of the mandated print copies, the NBA will convert all of its 30 team guides onto a flash drive to be distributed to media members and season-ticket holders. The guides will also be available electronically on the NBA’s media-only Web site.

“At one time, we were printing as many as 12,000 guides and that cost us up to $100,000 including time and costs,” said Joel Glass, vice president of communications for the Orlando Magic. “We started using memory sticks last year, but this is the first time the league is not requiring us to print copies.”

It is expected the teams this year will still produce some type of printed guide in limited quantities for promotional purposes. The Magic this year have around 500 copies to be given to select season-ticket holders.

“We will print some for any dinosaurs who still want them,” Glass said.

NBA officials said that they decided to rescind the printed media guide requirement not only for budget purposes but also to be more environmentally friendly.

“Teams this year are not required to have printed guides, but many teams may still print a guide, though they may be smaller than in years past,” said Brian McIntyre, senior vice president of basketball communications for the NBA. “Teams are still making decisions on whether or not they will be printing a guide of some sort, but all teams will have a full guide online.”

The New Orleans Hornets will spend $10,000 to print 500 copies of their media guide instead of the $60,000 they spent last year to print 8,000.

“It’s a legitimate savings and the electronic media guide is really more practical,” said Harold Kaufman, senior director of public relations for the Hornets. “A printed media guide gets outdated after the first few days of training camp.”

This move continues an industrywide trend. Various NFL teams have moved away from producing printed guides and the NHL has lifted its requirement for printed ones, while MLB teams have been producing digital guides. The PGA Tour and LPGA also have eliminated printed guides.

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