Under new commissioner and basketball hall of famer Clyde Drexler, the BIG3 will play all of its games in NBA arenas every Friday night from June 22-Aug. 24, with the entire season being broadcast live on FS1 and FOX while also streaming on the Fox Sports Go app.
The BIG3, founded by producer, actor and music legend Ice Cube and entertainment executive Jeff Kwatinetz, debuted successfully in 2017, averaging more than 11,000 fans at each stop during its 10-week season of 3-on-3 professional basketball. That includes a crowd of roughly 15,000 on opening weekend at the Barclays Center, which is near what the Brooklyn Nets averaged during the 2017-18 season.
The league was a hit on television as well despite games being shown on tape-delayed broadcast. Nearly 400,000 viewers tuned into the BIG3’s first week of games, making it into the top 10 of FS1’s most-viewed basketball telecasts ever. Overall, the BIG3’s average television audience for its four-game slates each week marked a 91 percent increase in viewership from FS1’s programming in the same time slot from the previous year, which helped lead to the switch to live broadcasts for the league’s second season.
And it’s the younger demographic that’s tuning in and attending games during the summer, when fans are craving quality basketball during the NBA offseason. Roughly 250,000 of last year’s opening-weekend viewers on FS1 fell in the 18-49 age range, making it the second-most watched basketball event on the network within that demographic. That younger audience more often than not includes a second-screen experience when viewing sporting events, and now the BIG3 has an opportunity to reach those viewers in multiple ways.
The BIG3 brand expanded further in April when a three-year agreement was announced making adidas the league’s official outfitter. The sports apparel giant will provide uniforms for all BIG3 teams beginning with the upcoming season and also create new lines of officially licensed products, including jerseys and t-shirts. Prior to the 2017-18 season, adidas was the official apparel company of the NBA.
STATS, the worldwide leader in data collection and distribution, has partnered with the growing BIG3 to become the league’s official data provider for the upcoming 2018 season. STATS will collect live, in-game statistics and updates during each game and distribute the information via its industry-leading data feeds. Digital media outlets now will be able to send up-to-the-second updates to the BIG3’s hundreds of thousands of fans through customizable delivery methods on mobile devices. Fans also remain engaged leading into the following week’s matchups with updated standings, team and player statistics, and much more.
The reception the league has received nationally makes it clear the BIG3 isn’t just any run-of-the-mill basketball league, and it’s far from the playground-style game that may come to mind. In fact, the International Olympic Committee in June officially added 3-on-3 basketball as a competition during the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics. The BIG3’s rules differ a bit from FIBA’s, though, and bring more speed and excitement to the game.
Former NBA players race to be the first team to 50 points in a half-court setting – must win by two, of course – with the 3-point line at NBA distance. There also are three 4-point zones 30 feet from the basketball, preventing any lead from being safe.
Stephen Jackson led the league in scoring last year at 21.6 points per game, and he’ll return this season to a Killer 3s team also featuring Chauncey Billups and Metta World Peace under coach Charles Oakley. Trilogy went undefeated to win the inaugural BIG3 championship, and that squad will remain intact with Kenyon Martin, Al Harrington and Rashad McCants leading the way. Even more former NBA stars have joined the BIG3 for the 2018 season as well, including Metta World Peace, Amar’e Stoudemire, Baron Davis, Carlos Boozer and many others. To view the full rosters for all eight BIG3 teams, visit the rosters page at BIG3.com.
The BIG3 has made a commitment to producing high-quality basketball in a new format to fans craving more action. With games broadcast live to a national audience, digital media outlets have a prime opportunity to reach hundreds of thousands of fans around the country each week during the summer, when competitive basketball used to be an afterthought. To learn more about how STATS can provide your outlet with live, up-to-the-second BIG3 updates, visit stats.com.