AAU Basketball – The New Lucrative Business By Nathaniel Jackson

It was an early Saturday morning as we piled in the car and headed to Plano for another weekend of basketball. Our first game would start at 8:00am and we would not cease playing games until late Sunday evening. Throughout the day a total of 4 games would be played by the Texas Blue Chips. However, a total of 250+games would be played in one day at multiple venues, with multiple teams.  Premier Basketball Tournaments is the organization that puts on these large events all across the US. This bright orange and blue company is known in the basketball arena for not only organizing large national level tournaments for boys and girls under the age of 18 years old, but they also offer scouting and recruiting services accessible to all college basketball programs in the nation. They have created a multi-million dollar business off of young boys and girls competing on the basketball court.

This past weekend I took a trip down memory lane and attended the Heart of Texas National Showcase is Plano.

Heart of Texas Showcase. Photo Credit: http://www.premierbasketballtournaments.com

I was appalled that it cost me $15.00 for a day pass. I also had the option to pay $25.00 for a weekend pass. It seemed as if they were charging you some fee every direction you turned. Surprisingly, there was no charge for parking… which was a whole other story. Although there is no exact number on how much is made every weekend on these tournaments an educated calculation can be made. From experience I have seen gyms full of 1,000+ parents at any given time. This past weekend’s tournament had a total of six venues. So let’s just say that in one day there are six venues filled with 1,000 parents. 1,000 X 6 = $6,000 X $15.00 (entry fee) =  $90,000 X 2 (the tournaments last 2 days) = $180,000. On average the entry fee for a team into one of these tournaments is anywhere from $250-$500. So lets meet in the middle and say $375 per team. This past tournament had a total of 322 teams – 322 X $375 = $120,750. Plus the cost of admission for the college coaches, which also includes a binder full of all the teams, each player on the team and each player’s contact information. On average it costs $250-$500 (amount depends on the strength of play of each tournament). There are 351 division I basketball schools in the United States. Let’s just average this last weekend out and speculate that there were 175 division I college coaches. $375 X 175 = $65,625. Now, we won’t even take into consideration the amount of money made on concessions. Let’s just count that as a wash. However, the 200 people who work each event do get paid. Let’s make it easy and say they make $10.00 an hour and work 10 hour shifts each day. $10 X 10 = $100 X 2 (they work 2 days) = $200. $200 X 200 = – $40,000. We also have to take in consideration the amount of costs to run the building. Let’s assume that at this point the building is paid for, so all that is left if the cost of electricity. – $10,000 for the weekend. In total we can make the educated calculation that the head honcho running this weekend tournament brought in a total of $316,375. This was for two days out of the month. On average, a Premier Basketball Tournament owner can put on a couple of tournaments a year in the summer months. 4 tournaments would equal out to be over 1 million dollars.

The world of youth basketball is one that is lucrative. If one has enough money to invest on the front end, the backside return is limitless.

The University of San Francisco – Where my girlfriend earned a Division I basketball scholarship. Photo Credit: http://www.cappex.com

There are always going to be kids involved with AAU basketball. Families pay top dollar in hopes of their children earning a college athletic scholarship. Fortunate for some families this dream comes true.. and for others not. This hope will continue to feed this chance and the world of AAU basketball will continue to flourish.



“List of NCAA Division I Institutions.” Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.

“Premier Basketball Tournaments.” Premier Basketball Tournaments. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.

Published by

UNT Eagle Strategies

Class members of the social media class in the Mayborn School of Journalism