Filed Under:  Business

NBA wants to make local vendors the all-stars

12th August 2013   ·   0 Comments

By Whitney Gaston-Loyd
Contributing Writer

When discussing top spots for an unforgettable weekend getaway, the Big Easy usually crowns the list. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that New Orleans will play host to one of basketball’s most exciting events, All- Star Weekend.

In February 2014, New Orleans will be hosting NBA All-Star Weekend, the third notable sporting event to grace the city in only one year. Instead of the occasion being just another star-studded opportunity to enjoy basketball and booze, the NBA wants to offer something more to the community.

NBA All-Star has announced that it intends to make sure that women and minority-owned businesses play an integral part in All-Star events when it comes to the Crescent City next year.

Through its Vendor Diversity Program, the NBA along with the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation will give local minority-owned businesses a chance to provide goods and services for All-Star events.

By bringing this and other prominent sporting events to the city, the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation believes it is fulfilling a far greater purpose than merely entertaining the city and its tourists.

“The NBA All-Star Vendor Diversity Program provides the opportunity for local minority-owned businesses to get in the game and benefit directly from such a major event, creating a lasting impact for our community,” said Jay Cicero, president and CEO of the GNOSF in a press release, “Bringing large-scale events to New Orleans is about more than entertainment, it’s about bettering our community.”

“We want to reiterate that vendors have to go in, show that they can do what’s being requested without over pricing and put their best foot forward,” a GNOSF representative said, “this is just another opportunity, nothing is guaranteed,”

Nearly half way through the application period, the program has 140 participants and GNOSF’s goal is to double that number by the October 1, the application deadline. Though the program is making good progress, particular areas such as flooring and furniture are lacking applicants.

To take advantage of this opportunity, interested vendors must be certified as a minority or women’s business enterprise by one of the independent agencies approved by the NBA. The City of New Orleans- State & Local Disad­vantaged Business Enter­prise Program (SLDBE); Louisiana Minority Supplier Development Council (LAMSDC); or the Women’s Business Enterprise Council South (WBEC South) are specified as agencies through which the NBA will recognize a business’s certification. Once certified, vendors may register for the program by completing an application that can be accessed at nba.com/allstarvendordiversity/index.html.

Along with the registration form, interested vendors can find a list of goods and services the NBA needs. The list includes of variety of commodities from golf carts, to port-o-johns, to trophies.

Qualified applicants will be included in the program’s vendor guide, which will be the central resource the NBA, its internal business units and its partners will use in seeking and obtaining locally supplied goods and services. For more information about the program or to register, visit www.nba.com/allstarvendordiversity.

This article originally published in the August 12, 2013 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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