Is the NBA going to help the administration market ObamaCare?

posted at 4:31 pm on June 21, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

The past few months apparently haven’t done much to recommend ObamaCare to the Americans that the Obama administration is fervently hoping to convince to sign up for the insurance through the proffered programs when their exchanges open for business this October. According to the June edition of the Kaiser health tracking poll, Americans still don’t hold the “Affordable” Care Act in high regard by an eight point margin, with 43 percent holding an unfavorable view and 35 percent a favorable view.

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The outreach program to desperately sell the still-unpopular legislation to the public has already begun, but it sounds like the Obama administration has figured out that just some ordinary, run-of-the-mill political marketing campaign isn’t going to quite cut it. For an effort this massive, they need to step up their game — and how.

The Obama administration has reached out to the NBA about a potential marketing partnership to promote the health law, POLITICO has learned.

The news, revealed recently by Massachusetts officials who have been in contact with the administration, offers a glimpse at how President Barack Obama’s team plans to push the new coverage options to a public that largely has been clueless about the new health insurance options. …

It’s unclear whether a potential partnership would put big-name ballplayers — like James, the Miami Heat superstar — at the center of ad campaigns or whether it would be as modest as permitting the administration to affix the NBA logo onto marketing materials. An agreement itself isn’t even a slam dunk; Obamacare is partisan and controversial, and the NBA could decide it doesn’t want to go near it.

The NBA is keeping mum about the reported offer so far, but for the Obama administration, this would be a serious win — the NBA’s regular season closely coincides with the time period in which the administration needs people to sign up through the exchanges, and could help them reach a much wider audience. It’s the type of popular endorsement that could help them out a lot, and it is sounds like it isn’t the only one they’re pursuing.


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Just what we need… a bunch of high school graduates explaining the complex economics of publicly mandated healthcare.

blammm on June 21, 2013 at 4:34 PM

Of course they will!

Or else…

“Vee know vere your fam’ly lives.”

Liam on June 21, 2013 at 4:34 PM

The US gov’t is run by rogue swine, from top to all around, from the left to the right.

I profusely apologize to the clean pigs.

Schadenfreude on June 21, 2013 at 4:34 PM

Kobe Bryant has a technique which may lend itself quite well to the process.

a capella on June 21, 2013 at 4:35 PM

IS this jackass saying the NBA members will support this crap because they are BLACK?

what a racist.

TX-96 on June 21, 2013 at 4:40 PM

Yet another reason why I don’t care about basketball.

rbj on June 21, 2013 at 4:40 PM

“AND IT’S ANOTHER SLAM-DUNK FOR OBAMA!!!”

Marcola on June 21, 2013 at 4:41 PM

Just what we need… a bunch of high school graduates explaining the complex economics of publicly mandated healthcare.

blammm on June 21, 2013 at 4:34 PM

A bunch of Millionaire HS “graduates”, even worse. They will have access to whatever health care they need, and they get to go to the front of the line.

I feel a colonoscopy coming on…

kirkill on June 21, 2013 at 4:45 PM

Just what we need… a bunch of high school graduates explaining the complex economics of publicly mandated healthcare.

blammm on June 21, 2013 at 4:34 PM

Well, how hard could it be? Health care is FREE and most of these guys are 1%ers (though not the villainous HEDGE FUND MANAGER kind).

Jeddite on June 21, 2013 at 4:45 PM

The NBA is the most left wing of the leagues. Commissioner Stern is a far left zealot and is like most ALL leftists corrupt. (fixing games, fixing the draft, etc).

Wouldn’t surprise me one bit to see the NBA go all in on this.

Raquel Pinkbullet on June 21, 2013 at 4:48 PM

Not surprising.

* 78% of players are black; 83% non-white
* NBA Commissioner David Stern is a liberal Democrat
* NBA fans are among the most liberal in sports: http://offthebench.nbcsports.com/2013/03/19/what-does-the-team-you-root-for-say-about-your-politics-study-reveals-all-and-the-most-conservative-team-fan-base-wears-red/

I would boycott the NBA, except I haven’t been to an NBA game in eight years and those were freebees. The last time my printer gave me (center court) NBA tickets, I gave them to one of my employees so she could take her kids. My printer buys season tickets as it does the printing for the local NBA franchise.

bw222 on June 21, 2013 at 4:51 PM

Meh, Spurs lost. I wouldn’t buy anything they’re advertising anymore.

NOMOBO on June 21, 2013 at 4:52 PM

More reason for me to loathe the NBA.

Squeak. Squeak Squeak Squeak Squeak Squeak Squeak Squeak.

Red Cloud on June 21, 2013 at 4:56 PM

Isn’t this illegal?

jawkneemusic on June 21, 2013 at 4:59 PM

I used to be sort of interested in sports but the thug factor just turned me off. I know tattoos don’t indicate that you’re a criminal, but…even that turns me off. Then every day there’s a murder or beating or another illegit kid or dog fighting. YUCK.

This seals the deal. Even I will protest this politicization.

PattyJ on June 21, 2013 at 5:01 PM

The IRS is supposed to be neutral.

Schadenfreude on June 21, 2013 at 5:03 PM

If the NBA gets involved it’ll be fun to picket their games. The opportunity for PR runs both ways.

MTF on June 21, 2013 at 5:05 PM

I’ve been losing interest in the NBA for years. I was a fan of a certain team for 25+ years but that team’s change in ownership turned it from a perennial playoff contender to a shadow of that.

I watched almost all of the Finals the past couple of weeks and rooted for the Spurs.

This would put the final nail in the coffin for me.

22044 on June 21, 2013 at 5:06 PM

The NBA is the most left wing of the leagues.

The owner of the Rockets is a hedge fund millionaire. He and his wife are vegans and hate hate hate the rodeo we do every year. Like clockwork about a month before the rodeo kicks off they swamp us with animal cruelty stories that our local rag helpfully publishes.

DanMan on June 21, 2013 at 5:07 PM

Nice little sports league you have there…

slickwillie2001 on June 21, 2013 at 5:12 PM

Not surprising.

* 78% of players are black; 83% non-white
* NBA Commissioner David Stern is a liberal Jew Democrat
* NBA fans are among the most liberal Non-White
in sports: http://offthebench.nbcsports.com/2013/03/19/what-does-the-team-you-root-for-say-about-your-politics-study-reveals-all-and-the-most-conservative-team-fan-base-wears-red/

FIFY just so it’s clear what you meant.

Salahuddin on June 21, 2013 at 5:30 PM

bw222 on June 21, 2013 at 4:51 PM

That is.

Salahuddin on June 21, 2013 at 5:31 PM

Well he’s got a real Mensa crowd to his bidding there….

uhh-duhhhh-sup-uknowwhatI’msayin’…

dpduq on June 21, 2013 at 6:02 PM

Nothing says “health care” like millionaire athletes who will be completely unaffected by this law.

Bitter Clinger on June 21, 2013 at 6:19 PM

I don’t think many of them will do this. They live for endorsement deals so why alienate half your audience? I remember Jordan being asked why he wasn’t more involved in politics and he said “Republicans buy sneakers too”.

Big Orange on June 21, 2013 at 6:31 PM

I don’t think many of them will do this. They live for endorsement deals so why alienate half your audience? I remember Jordan being asked why he wasn’t more involved in politics and he said “Republicans buy sneakers too”.
Big Orange on June 21, 2013 at 6:31 PM

Michael Jordan looks like Einstein compared to today’s crop of NBA players.

Too bad the gangbangers won’t be able to afford their NBA gear or go to games once they’re made to pay their Obamacare fines.

BWAH HAH HAH. Like I actually believe anyone will make gangbangers pay one dime towards Obamacare.

The only way this law would have any teeth is if they said “And by the way, if you don’t have insurance and show up to the ER, you don’t get treatment. Crawl into the street and die.”

Phoenix7 on June 21, 2013 at 6:46 PM

Sounds appropriate to me. After all, Obamacare is the Charlotte Bobcats of legislation.

radjah shelduck on June 21, 2013 at 7:10 PM

How’s about a big ole’ red/white/blue Obama logo on their jerseys? Could you imagine?

Hawkerflyer on June 22, 2013 at 7:43 AM

Of course, they’ll exempt themselves from obamacare.

“Good for the peasants but not us”.

acyl72 on June 22, 2013 at 9:43 AM

It sounds like a desparate move if caesar obamus has to rely on the chicken-man to pimp his gear.

Red Creek on June 22, 2013 at 10:36 AM

Don’t watch no stinking boring NBA with a season that goes on forever.

Sherman1864 on June 22, 2013 at 6:36 PM