Oct 2, 2011, 9:00 AM EDT
You’ve heard of the butterfly effect. The NBA lockout, despite all the talk that “no one cares/ is noticing” is going to be more like the gigantic asteroid effect, from an economic standpoint, in a lot of areas. There are cities that depend on the revenue created by game nights for bars, restaurants, shopping. There are thousands of jobs supported by game nights, from ticket sales to ushers to concessions to security. And there are industries effected on the periphery of the NBA. Like merchandising.
The Oregonian reported Saturday on the estimated damage from a lockout on apparel partners to the NBA, and the results are not pretty.
On one aspect, Cohen and Powell completely agreed: Apparel sales will be hammered by a lockout of almost any duration, a prediction that would be especially damaging to Adidas — the leagues official apparel provider. Look for 50 percent fewer sales of jerseys and other paraphernalia for the duration of the lockout, Powell said.
And if the lockout lingers, the NBA, Nike, Adidas and everyone else in the basketball business will see declining sales across the board because of declining interest, Cohen said.
In that event, Cohen said, “people arent playing as much, not thinking about it as much.”
We’re all in this big messed up economy together, no matter how much we fight over the causes or solutions to it. And the fact is that the NBA lockout is only going to inflame a bad situation. More jobs will be lost. Less money will be made which will squeeze everything from stock prices to cost of living raises to research to more jobs. It’s a vicious cycle and it’s all based on billionaires squabbling with millionaires over hundreds of millions.
Maybe the average American sports fan won’t be tremendously affected by the NBA simply not existing when it should. But the effect will be felt all the same. The NBA is a part of the American economic tapestry. To hold it out is to stave off oxygen in a time when we need all the fresh air we can get.