Crowdsourcing: The NBA Draft

The case I chosen is NBA draft case, to be specific, it is how crowdsourcing to a certain degree helped the Sacramento Kings to select a player on draft day in 2014. Before the NBA draft day in 2014, the Sacramento Kings put a “Draft 3.0 Challenge” link on their official website, the purpose the kings did this was to find qualified amateurs who will share their expertise in identifying draft-eligible players for the Kings to consider choosing, the participators were asked to use their own experience and analysis to evaluate NBA draftees, and several participators who have the most insightful analyses would be invited to a Kings Draft Advisory Council to help make a draft pick. Finally, by summarizing the opinion of the picked participators and other experts (like coach of the Kings), the Sacramento Kings selected the player they wanted.



Compared with the the Next Stop design case, the NBA draft case has lots of similarities with it, like both of them don’t have entry fee, while as for me, the biggest similarity between these two case is that in both these two cases “enjoyment is a simple, powerful motivator. That is to say, if an activity is fun and gratifies the need for individuals to be entertained and stimulated, …people will be motivated to explore that activity” (Brabham, 2012, 322). For most NBA fans, they want their home team to become better and better, thus suggesting their own teams do something, like trading a certain player or making a certain player plays more time, is one of the actions they always to do. However, no matter they send emails to official email address or comment under the official Twitter/Facebook account, their voice may not be heard or their advise may not be considered. Therefore, when an opportunity appeared that they could truly have a chance to participate in home team’s future building and communicate with the management layer of the team that let them listen to their opinion, they absolutely enjoyed to take part in this activity.


However, in my perspective, the NBA draft case is much more different with the emergency reporting case. For instance, the emergency reporting case could inform and alert other people, that is to say, people who participated in can not only provide information they know, but also can know information from it, while the NBA draft case was just helping the Sacramento Kings itself to make a decision, only the Sacramento Kings knew what people write, participators had no chance know other people’s analyses. In my opinion, it is because the emergency reporting case is like a platform for share, while the NBA draft case is somewhat like a contest because  few of participators have chance to finally help officials to make the decision directly. In addition, because of the same reason I referred above, social media always play a significant role in the emergency case, like people always use hashtag on Twitter to post information which relate to a certain disaster. However, the NBA case didn’t need social media to play such an important role, participators could only use Sacramento Kings’ official website to achieve their participation.


5 thoughts on “Crowdsourcing: The NBA Draft

  1. I’m shocked an NBA team did something like this even if the crowdsourcing only had a minimal effect on the final decision. Still we’re talking about a multi-million dollar decision here. This was both an incredibly innovative idea (how cool to give armchair GMs a chance to show their mettle) and also probably one of the reasons the Kings’ franchise is a joke today. Two years later, it looks like the player they drafted with the crowdsourcing assist is not even with the team anymore. (Not that they blamed the crowdsourcing experiment). Hypothetically, I guess it can make sense to tap into the Wisdom of the Crowds for important decisions. But if they’re wrong and costly, it’s going to reflect very poorly on the brains behind the experiment.


  2. This is one weird way to croudsource. I think one of the main motivations behind this initiative was publicity seeing as the Kings are one of the lower ranked teams in the NBA and are doing many things to become relevant again. For example, they just spent 500 million dollars to build a new stadium!

    I agree with you that enjoyment was a simple motivator for these participants. The love of basketball was definitely one of the main reasons people participated. The chance to participate in draft day and sit next to the team’s owner probably struck a chord with many basketball fans. I also agree that the participants saw this as an opportunity to have their voices heard. Instead of yelling at the TV, they were able to speak to the owner directly.

    I still think this is a weird croudsourcing example but I like that you chose it because it’s so different from the others.


  3. Hi Lin’ao,
    I think it is a kind of creative crowdsourcing way. Although I didn’t know very well about NBA, I can feel how a fan addicted to watch NBA’s games and competitions. Therefore, in my opinion, I agree with your opinion about “enjoyment is a simple, powerful motivator”. It is a good way to call on fans to contribute their expertise due to their eagerness. Also, I think this crowdsourcing is do good to their branding, which cultivate a image, showing that they care a lot about their fans’ thoughts.


  4. Good post and a nice case. I’m glad you wrote “the NBA draft case was just helping the Sacramento Kings itself to make a decision” — a lot of so-called crowdsourcing examples are really more like a simple contest, but the company calls it crowdsourcing so that it sounds cool. You have seen other cases now where the outcome actually benefits people, not a company.


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