SBJ/September 3-9, 2012/Franchises

Cavs rethink scorer’s table with ads in mind

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The Cleveland Cavaliers will roll out a newly designed scorer’s table that team officials hope will dramatically boost the amount of television exposure for courtside advertisers.

The new design, pending league approval, eliminates the Cavaliers’ 40-foot scorer’s table used last season and replaces it with a 24-foot table at center court along with two 8-foot tables near the team benches.

The tentative new configuration was made to increase the amount of television exposure given to courtside advertisers, which in turn will lead to higher rates charged by the team to sponsors.

“One of the goals when I got here was to increase value to our sponsors by making sure we can offer more broadcast exposure,” said Brad Sims, senior vice president and chief revenue officer for the Cavaliers, who joined the team in June.

Sims, who came to the Cavaliers from the NBA’s team marketing and business operations division, believes that the Cavs’ new scorer’s table configuration will allow for more television exposure because most NBA action on television is seen in a half-court set.

Last year, the Cavaliers averaged about 4,300 seconds a game of TV exposure for courtside sponsors, but this year the team plans to increase average courtside exposure to more than 5,000 seconds a game.

The Cavs have not yet increased prices for courtside advertising, but rate hikes are expected once the team is able to track metrics from the system.

“Over time, teams have shortened their scorer’s table with the belief that there are more incremental dollars from the addition of ‘Hollywood’ seats,” Sims said. “It was eye-opening to me that some teams have tables that are too short [to maximize] exposure when the game is in a half-court set.”

The newly designed scorer’s table will shift the home and visiting teams’ television announcers to the new 8-foot tables while adding four more courtside seats. In addition, the current “Hollywood” seats in Quicken Loans Arena next to the team benches now will be moved eight feet closer to center court, allowing the team to potentially charge more for the relocated inventory, Sims said.

The Cavs’ courtside redesign is similar to changes made by the Boston Celtics a few years ago when they put signs at the ends of the team benches. The Cavaliers are putting their new tables much closer to center court for what they say brings more visible television advertising.

“It is a hybrid between a 60-foot table like at Madison Square Garden and what Boston has done,” Sims said, “We ended up with a modified version that we are excited about.”
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