NBA Store

NBA Store

The NBA Store
The image above is of the now-closed original location at 666 Fifth Avenue. The store is currently operating out of a smaller, temporary location at 590 Fifth Avenue.
Address 590 Fifth Avenue, New York,
NY 10103
Opening date Sept. 18, 1998 (666 Fifth Avenue location)
Closing date Feb. 13, 2011 (666 Fifth Avenue location)
Developer The Phillips Group
Management Steve Candeloro
Owner National Basketball Association
Total retail floor area 35,000 sq ft (3,300 m2)
No. of floors Building has 41 floors,
3 floors are for the store.

The NBA Store is a series of officially licensed retailers which sell merchandise for the National Basketball Association (NBA). The most prominent of these stores was located in the United States on Fifth Avenue and 52nd Street, Manhattan, New York. There are two other locations in Beijing, China.

The New York location sold many basketball related items and featured several attractions; it was often visited by transient players, celebrities, and political leaders. It also served as a headquarters for the NBA where the association hosts charity events.

Since opening its first store in 1998, the NBA has seen increasing business opportunities in foreign markets mainly due to the influx of new international players. The biggest growth has been in China, where players Yao Ming and Yi Jianlian, combined with the interest generated by the 2008 Summer Olympics, created enough demand to open two new stores. The NBA has also expanded into games like Second Life where it created a virtual NBA Store in 2007.

The original Fifth Avenue store closed on February 13, 2011. The league temporarily relocated the store in a smaller space at 590 Fifth Avenue. The league is searching for a new permanent location.

New York City

Former NBA players visiting the store in New York

Established in the fall of 1998, the 35,000-square-foot (3,300 m2) store offers free video games, a regulation basketball court, and other attractions like a life-size Shaquille O'Neal bobblehead.[1][2][3] Among its many products, the store sells current NBA & WNBA jerseys, replica jerseys of retired players, footwear, collectibles, photography, and other gifts.[2] It has several departments, such as a home section, where customers can buy items like pillows, plates, and other NBA related items.[1] NBA employees, including players, receive a 30% discount on their purchases.[3] The most expensive item for sale is a $75,000 signed "framed photo collage" of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History.[4]

Inside the original New York store

Construction involved removing beams to make space for an 36-by-54-foot hole in the bottom three floors of the existing 41 story building.[5] Steve Candeloro has been the store's concierge since it opened in 1998.[1] The store is frequently visited by celebrities, tourists, and NBA players who are in town to play the New York Knicks or New Jersey Nets.[1][3] The NBA Store has been visited by important guests such as former President Bill Clinton, and the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, who received a personal tour by NBA Commissioner David Stern.[1] The store is also host to The NBA Store Concert Series, concert events where musical artists perform at the store's half court; some previous performers include: Michelle Branch, Destiny's Child, Run DMC, and Aaron Carter.[6]

The NBA Store in New York City allowed its customers to rent areas for birthday parties[7] or other private celebrations[8] and has hosted charity events in the past. During Christmas 2006, the wife of NBA player Dwyane Wade volunteered at the NBA Store Holiday Toy Drive.[9] The New York Knicks regularly held events like Autographs for Supplies at the NBA Store where New York players like Eddy Curry, Zach Randolph, and WNBA's Kym Hampton meet fans and signs items in an effort to raise school supplies for children and stress academics.[10] In 2007, the store held a fashion exhibition to celebrate the Casual Male Retail Group acquisition of the men's big & tall clothing company Jared M., a company popular among athletes and celebrities for its custom sportswear; several NBA players were happy to show their support since the founder had fitted many of them in the past.[11][12]

Jersey sales in U.S.
# 2005/2006[13] 2006/2007[14] 2007/2008[15]
1. Dwyane Wade Kobe Bryant Kevin Garnett
2. LeBron James Dwyane Wade Kobe Bryant
3. Allen Iverson LeBron James Allen Iverson
4. Kobe Bryant Allen Iverson LeBron James
5. Stephon Marbury Carmelo Anthony Steve Nash
6. Shaquille O’Neal Steve Nash Dwyane Wade
7. Tracy McGrady Vince Carter Gilbert Arenas
8. Carmelo Anthony Gilbert Arenas Dirk Nowitzki
9. Vince Carter Shaquille O'Neal Stephon Marbury
10. Ben Wallace Stephon Marbury Carmelo Anthony
11. Tim Duncan Dirk Nowitzki Kevin Durant
12. Dirk Nowitzki Tracy McGrady Paul Pierce
13. Paul Pierce Paul Pierce Tracy McGrady
14. Steve Nash Chris Paul Dwight Howard
15. Amar'e Stoudemire Tim Duncan Chris Paul
Combined sales at the NBA Store in New York City and

In 2007, the most sold team paraphernalia were from the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, and the 2006 NBA champions the Miami Heat.[14] The following year, the Lakers and Knicks retained their top spots, but the Heat were replaced by the new 2008 NBA champions the Boston Celtics.[15]

The NBA Store's main outlet in New York was closed in February 13, 2011 due to high rent. "The amount of dollars the landlord is requiring from the next tenant, we couldn't find a way to make it work," NBA executive vice president of global merchandising Sal LaRocca said. While the league searches for a new location [16][17] the store will operate temporarily at 590 Fifth Avenue.[18]

Beijing, China

International players like Chinese Yao Ming (in white) have increased interest abroad and opened opportunities in China.

The NBA also sells its products outside the United States, most notably in China. The NBA's international operations only provide 10 percent of total profit; however, the NBA has seen a recent increase in possible business opportunities abroad.[19]

Statistics revealed that 300 million out of China's 1.3 billion population played basketball, additionally "83 percent of males between 15 to 61 years old are interested in the game," and the NBA was reported to be "the most popular sports league in the country."[19] In 2006, it was reported that the NBA was planning to open its first store in Beijing, China (on Wangfujing Street) or Shanghai, China.[19] Partly due to Yao Ming (1st overall pick in 2002) and Yi Jianlian's (6th overall pick in 2007) popularity in their home country, the NBA now sells its products in some 30,000 to 50,000 retail locations in China.[20][21] During the 2006 season the NBA broadcast its games in 215 countries and had 83 foreign players, about a quarter of the total players.[22] In 2008, it had 75 players from 32 different countries.[23]

On January 14, 2008, the NBA announced the formation of NBA China ("a joint venture of the NBA, broadcaster ESPN and Chinese companies"),[24] "that will conduct all of the league’s businesses in Greater China",[25] the new entity will be led by Tim Chen (former CEO of Microsoft Greater China).[26] In preparation for the 2008 Summer Olympics in China, the NBA opened a flagship store in Beijing; the JuneYao Group was chosen to lead marketing operations for the retail chain-store.[27]

The NBA currently has two stores in China[24] (both in Beijing)[28] and according to CEO Chen plans to expand "up to 1,000 in the next five years."[24] The first store was opened on July 15, 2008; it has "300 square meters of retail space" and sells about 400 different items;[29] about 1,000 people showed up for the opening.[30] According to the International Herald Tribune, merchandise sales in China were expected to increase by 60 percent in 2008.[30] About one third of the traffic received at comes from their Chinese area ( written in Mandarin[21] built by the Plus Factory, a New York City firm with offices in Beijing.[31]

Reports on NBA jersey sales over the last three years (2006–2009) reveal that Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers is the most sold jersey in China; however, Yao Ming fell from 6th to 10th and then back to 6th while his Houston Rockets teammate Tracy McGrady remained ranked third for two straight seasons then fell to fourth in 2009.[32][33]

Jersey sales in China (2006–2009)[32][33]
Season 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
2008/2009 Kobe Bryant LeBron James Kevin Garnett Tracy McGrady Dwyane Wade Yao Ming Chris Paul Allen Iverson Dwight Howard Carmelo Anthony
2007/2008 Kobe Bryant Kevin Garnett Tracy McGrady Paul Pierce Allen Iverson Gilbert Arenas LeBron James Dwyane Wade Dwight Howard Yao Ming
2006/2007 Kobe Bryant Allen Iverson Tracy McGrady Dwyane Wade LeBron James Yao Ming Kevin Garnett Tim Duncan Carmelo Anthony Gilbert Arenas

Second Life

The virtual NBA Store as portrayed in the game Second Life.

The MMORPG Second Life, an Internet-based virtual game world, offers its members the option of playing or shopping at a digital replica of the NBA Store. The 3-D virtual replica was launched on May 1, 2007, during the NBA Finals between the San Antonio Spurs and the Cleveland Cavaliers as a way of reaching the global audience and expanding the NBA's business in the virtual world.[34] The virtual NBA Store is part of the NBA's virtual headquarters; other facilities include a T-Mobile arena where player's avatars can take pictures or watch Finals footage on a JumboTron.[34] At the time of its launch, the NBA was the "first professional sports league to unveil a comprehensive headquarters in a virtual world."[34] The virtual store's entrance is modeled after the New York City location, featuring the same double revolving doors and gold NBA lettering.

In 2004, the NBA Live series for home video game consoles introduced an EA NBA Store feature, where players can purchase digital shoes and jerseys with points earned through the completion of in-game tasks.[35]


  1. ^ a b c d e Ward, Julie (2007-06-12). "Store has different NBA action".  
  2. ^ a b NBA Staff (n.d.). "About Us : NBA Store Fact Sheet". NBA Website. Retrieved 2008-11-22. 
  3. ^ a b c Best, Neil (2007-12-07). "Neil Best column: Sports Watch: Trip to NBA Store worth a shot". Article ( 
  4. ^ Lepper, Geoff (2007-03-02). "Warriors not ready to concede season: Despite Nelson's admission of failure, players are determined to make the playoffs". Article ( 
  5. ^ a b NY Times Staff (1997-11-16). "POSTINGS: Retail Store to Open at 666 5th Ave.; N.B.A. Seeks A Net Profit". Article ( 
  6. ^ NBA Staff. "Celebrity Sightings". NBA Website ( Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  7. ^ NBA Staff (n.d.). "Birthday Parties". NBA Website ( Archived from the original on November 19, 2010. 
  8. ^ NBA Staff (n.d.). "Events". NBA Website ( Archived from the original on December 1, 2010. 
  9. ^ Tanasychuk, John (2006-12-18). "Being Mrs. Flash: We talk with Siohvaughn Wade, wife of Heat star Dwyane Wade, about b-ball, Barbies and babies, among other things.". Article ( 
  10. ^ Staff (n.d.). "Autographs for Supplies at the NBA Store". Video - 4:40 mins (New York Insider). Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  11. ^ Palmieri, Jean E.; Koenig, Gillian (2007-03-19). "Casual Male Has Big Plans For Jared M. New B&T Collection To Have Official Star-Studded Debut At NBA Store This Week.". DNR: Daily News Record. pp. Vol. 37 Issue 12, p8–8, 1p. (Accession Number -  
  12. ^ Pallay, Jessica; Palmieri, Jean E. (2007-03-26). "Let It B-Ball". DNR: Daily News Record. pp. Vol. 37 Issue 13, p7–7, 1/3p. (Accession Number -  
  13. ^ NBA Staff (2006-04-17). "Wade Tops Jersey Sales". NBA. Retrieved 2008-11-28. 
  14. ^ a b NBA Staff (2007-07-11). "Lakers’ Bryant Ends Season Atop NBA’s Most Popular Jersey List". News (NBA). Retrieved 2008-11-25. 
  15. ^ a b NBA Staff (2008-06-13). "Kevin Garnett’s Jersey Tops Bestseller List". News (NBA). Retrieved 2008-11-25. 
  16. ^ "High rent prompts NBA to plan N.Y. store closing". CBS Sports. November 9, 2010. Retrieved May 19, 2011. 
  17. ^ "NBA Store closing Sunday; new NYC location in works". NBA. February 11, 2011. Retrieved May 19, 2011. 
  18. ^ Autumn 2011 in New York
  19. ^ a b c "NBA To Open First Overseas Store In China". Asia Pulse via COMTEX. 2006-11-19. (Record Number -  
  20. ^ Walker, Don (2007-11-16). "Yi jersey supply limited: Rookie's late signing held up production". Article ( 
  21. ^ a b Sandomir, Richard (2008-10-12). "N.B.A. and Partner to Help Build 12 Arenas in China".  
  22. ^ Van Riper, Tom (2006-11-16). "The NBA's Global Full Court Press".  
  23. ^ NBA Staff (2008-11-03). "NBA Players From Around The World: 2008-09 Season". NBA Website (NBA). Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  24. ^ a b c Bodeen, Christopher (2008-08-22). "NBA looks to further expand in China post-Olympics". USA Basketball (USOC via AP). Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  25. ^ NBA Staff (2008-01-14). "NBA Announces Formation of NBA China".  
  26. ^ Wai-yin Kwok, Vivian (2008-01-15). "NBA Finds Local Partners (And ESPN) For NBA China". Market Scan ( 
  27. ^ Shu-Ching, Jean Chen (2008-06-17). "NBA Set To Launch Fleet Of Stores In China". Faces In The News (Forbes). Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  28. ^ Forbes Staff (2008-10-12). "AEG and NBA China Form Joint Venture". Business Wire - Press Release ( 
  29. ^ Sloan, Gene (n.d.). "Shoppers visit the newly opened NBA Store in...". Cruise Log ( 
  30. ^ a b Thamel, Pete (2008-08-10). "An off-court game that excites the NBA". Article ( 
  31. ^ SANE PR Staff (2008-09-16). "NBA Store China Gets Online". Press Release (SANE PR (Search and News Enhanced Press Release Distribution)). 
  32. ^ a b Johnson, Greg (2008-08-12). "Kobe Bryant tops China's NBA wish list; Yao Ming a distant 10th".  
  33. ^ a b "Bryant's jersey remains top seller in China".  
  34. ^ a b c Lorek, L.A. (2007-06-13). "Second Life offers virtual fun during NBA Finals". Article ( 
  35. ^ Colayco, Bob (2003-11-17). "NBA Live 2004 (PC)". editors' review ( 

External links