Personal Brand and Impact Investing: NBA Players at SDA Bocconi

National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) returns to Milan for the 5th edition of the course "Branding in the Global Economy"


SDA Bocconi School of Management is hosting the fifth edition of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) "Branding in the Global Economy" course for NBA players. The course is called the "One Court" Experience where current players (on-the-court) delve into topics relevant to their profession (off-the-court).

Seventeen NBA players met in SDA Bocconi with founders, creators and C-Level Executives of leading fashion, luxury, technology and finance brands with the goal of developing their personal brands on an international scale.

The program is laid out according to different trajectories:

  • Building and developing brands, that is, moving from an idea to a project and tying the brand to values recognizable by a community
  • Developing a personal brand, meaning to build a strategic process of creating, positioning, and maintaining one's public reputation and image, including for social media.
  • Investing responsibly and sustainably so as to generate social value, going beyond philanthropy and the traditional way of supporting communities that several professional athletes adopt.

Also for this edition, the program is coordinated by Emanuela Prandelli and Dino Ruta who, accompanied by world-class speakers, delve into success stories of companies and people.

Dino Ruta, program co-director and Sport & Entertainment Knowledge Center Leader, explains, "Human traits are central to both a successful sports career and a successful brand. There is a need to focus on values, purpose, identity, culture, and community building. These are all elements that players can recognize in themselves and bring into their investments. That is why impact investing is more and more a way to create financial and social value, including in their home communities. Twenty-five percent of NBA players are international and 10 percent are of African descent. We need to look locally, but globally at the same time."

Players were able to learn from top fashion and luxury industry, NFT and finance professionals who have founded or lead successful brands such as: Nicolas Julia, Co-Founder and CEO of Sorare, Laetitia Loffredo, Communication Director of Off-White, Alessandro Menconi, Retail and Franchising Director of Off-White, Gianluca Toniolo, CEO of Dolce & Gabbana Beauty, Giovanni Micucci, Marketing Director for FAY of Tod's, Giordano Calza, Co-Founder and CEO of GCDS, Daniele Testa, Chief Investment Officer of PFC Family Office.

The 17 NBA players who attended SDA Bocconi to participate in this edition were: Keita Bates-Diop, Oshae Brissett, Jaren Jackson Jr., Kevon Looney, Terance Mann, Miles McBride, JaVale McGee, Patty Mills, Josh Okogie, Kelly Olynyk, Kevin Porter Jr., Immanuel Quickley, Garrett Temple, Isaiah Thomas, Raul Togni Neto, Myles Turner, Jarred Vanderbilt. A partner for each player was also present in the classroom in order to reason together about the path off the court.



The goal of the program is to provide a global perspective of how to build a successful brand that has an international scope, "especially considering that NBA players," emphasizes Emanuela Prandelli, co-director of the program, "are international brands themselves and therefore need adequate management training to support them in managing their businesses."

"As the game continues to grow globally, our players are increasingly exposed to business opportunities and brands around the world," said Matteo Zuretti, NBPA Chief International Relations and Marketing. "One Court Milan intends to further develop players as global citizens and business people, providing them with the knowledge and network to continue to build their brands and create impactful partnerships. We are excited to return to Milan this week and kick off the program with this fantastic group of players."

This bridge between New York and Milan is a source of opportunities for players, and NBPA works to develop the professional dimension of players who are ambassadors of sports values around the world and a source of knowledge and inspiration for many fans, especially the younger generation.

The link between SDA Bocconi and NBPA is also strengthened by the presence of Tamika Tremaglio, NBPA Executive Director on the International Advisory Board of SDA Bocconi.


SDA Bocconi School of Management

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