SIMON Malls Using 3x3 Basketball to Draw Shoppers


3Ball USA has announced a post-collegiate 3x3 tournament, featuring 8 “Super Teams” from around the globe competing for $50,000. The outdoor showcase, featuring a fast-paced version of “3-on-3” Olympic basketball, is the precursor to a formal league that will begin play next summer. The tournament’s stakes are high; the winner will gain entry to the 2018 Sina Sports 3x3 Elite League in Beijing, China and the 2019 USA Basketball 3x3 National Championships at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The event, scheduled for August 17th-19th, will take place at SIMON’s Great Mall in Milpitas, California; Twitch and Sina Sports will live stream the weekend’s developments.

Howie Long-Short: Malls still haven’t figured out how they’re going to replace anchor tenants like Sears and J.C. Penney, but using experiential marketing to drive traffic for the stores that remain sounds logical.

Simon Property Group (SPG) is the largest retail REIT and shopping mall operator in the United States. Shares hit a 52-week low in April ($145.78), before the company raised its FY18 guidance during its Q1 earnings call on April 27th; since that time the price of shares is up +17%, closing on Thursday at $170.92. The company will report Q2 financials before the market opens on Monday.

While on the topic of retail, the future is particularly bleak when it comes to brick and mortar stores. Reports now indicate that upwards of 12,000 stores could close in ’18, up from a record 9,000 last year.

Fan Marino: 3x3 will debut as an Olympic sport in ’20, which explains why 3Ball USA is working to grow the game domestically.

Putting on experiential events in high-traffic locations is a smart way to draw in casual fans. Those that aren’t particularly interested in the games can still enjoy the slam dunk contest, a one-on-one challenge featuring The Professor, interactive selfie walls, music, food trucks, and a virtual reality activation from YBVR.

Never heard of The Professor? Check out this video. The streetball icon was among the And1 MixTape Tour’s (think: traveling ball handling/dunking showcase) biggest draws in the mid 2000s. Of course, the most successful player on the And1 MixTape Tour was Skip To My Lou, Rafer Alston. Alston transitioned from playground legend to 11-year NBA veteran, averaging a career best 14 PPG for Toronto in ’04-’05.

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