So just what does a new NBA CEO do with his time during this, the league’s nuclear winter? Well, Adam Aron told us on Broad Street Radio that he has kept very busy coming up with ways to revamp the Sixers' in-game entertainment and marketing efforts. He’s already slept on his office couch twice in just over a month, and that doesn’t include Saturday night, when he stayed up all night bidding on Julius Erving’s memorabilia.
As you know, Dr. J may very well be broke, and the Sixers were able to obtain 10 lots containing 18 items in his recent auction. That story came out on Monday, but what we didn’t know is that Aron was personally bidding on the items, all night, on Saturday:
"I will tell you, because it’s kind of a wild thing. The auction closed at 10 PM on Saturday night, or at least that’s what they said was going to happen. I was bidding on items for the Sixers. But buried in the rules, it said that they wanted to give everybody a fair last shot to bid on items and not get closed out for price reasons. So they were going to keep the auction open until nobody bid on anything for 15 minutes. And they called that the extended bidding period. Well, the auction closed at 10 o'clock, right on schedule. The extended bidding went for eight hours, and literally the auction continued until about six in the morning, and I was bidding on 34 different things. So I was literally up all night until 6 AM, when the auction finished, and we were fortunate enough to get 10 lots."
OK, that’s cool.
I’m not posting this just because Aron spoke with us as part of his media tour, which invariably gets people talking about the Sixers during a time when few care about the team or the NBA. I’m posting it because it’s an interesting tidbit about a native CEO who is walking the talk.
During our 30-minute conversation, Aron told us many of the same things he told reporters during his introductory press conference a month ago. His talking points: Philly guy, loves Doug Collins, wants to win, revamped in-game experience, cheaper tickets, etc. That’s all well and good, but when you get beyond the script and stumble upon anecdotal stories like this, they’re worth calling out, especially when they involve a 56-year-old CEO staying up all night to bid in an online auction.
Is there a lot of marketing savvy inside of Aron? You bet. Does he know his talking points and ways to appeal to Philly fans? Sure does (that sitting in the upper deck at Eagles games story is right out of the win me some Philly folks playbook). But did he also personally respond to our Tweet requesting an interview? Yep. Did he follow up by calling a blogger’s cell phone at 8 PM during a week in which most humans have checked out from normal life? Yes. And did he stay up overnight on a weekend to win back some items from the city’s most revered basketball player so the team could show them off to fans for years to come? Sure did.
I’ll buy that.