For the first time ever, the NBA selected its All-Star teams based on a draft. The top vote getters in each conference were named captain and they’ll be able to select their team to play with during the All-Star game. Another first is that All-Star game teams will donate money to two community organizations selected by the team captains. The league will make a $350,000 donation on behalf of the winning team, while the losing team will select a similar charity to receive $150,000.
According to the National Basketball Association, “In addition to a full schedule of community events that will take place during All-Star, Team LeBron and Team Stephen will choose a local or national organization to play for, with the donations directed toward outreach efforts in Los Angeles.
While these changes in the format were made to spice up the competition and provide value for the fans, this will also provide immense impact to the local communities. Integrating philanthropy into the All-Star format ensures that it is front and center during the biggest moment of the NBA season. There will be ongoing buzz leading up to the All-Star weekend and throughout the game, which will raise awareness and funds for very worthy organizations. This is an authentic way to weave charitable actions into the action on the court. To those that follow the NBA, this should come as no surprise as they are one of the most innovative leaders when it comes to activism, social impact, and community work. It is a part of the league’s DNA, and by integrating it within one of the league’s crown jewels, this shows that philanthropy is a key objective for the NBA.