Labor’s Denial: A Case Study of How Labor Used the Media and Public Relations to Block the First NBA–ABA Merger Attempt

Labor’s Denial: A Case Study of How Labor Used the Media and Public Relations to Block the First NBA–ABA Merger Attempt

  • Case
Abstract

The owners of professional basketball teams in the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the American Basketball Association (ABA) wanted to merge the 2 leagues because a war between them over players had led to escalating salaries. The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) responded with a lawsuit to block the merger citing antitrust regulations. When the owners went to Congress to ask for a special antitrust exemption, they were denied. This case study discusses the impact of communication on legislative lobbying, specifically how the NBPA used direct and indirect lobbying techniques to block the first NBA–ABA merger attempt. This case study offers a means to understand how and why some entities succeed in their public debates, while others fail. For the scholar, this case study adds ...

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