An NBA team ambassador is typically a former player that had a strong fan base during his days on the basketball court. Some level of fame, especially in the home city of the team, and an ability to work with both corporate and grassroots fans are required skills. This role is ceremonial and is awarded to an individual that cares about the advancement of the particular NBA team. Many NBA teams consider the role of the team ambassador to be similar to an elder statesman in politics: the ambassador guides and promotes the on-court and off-court work of the talent on the team.
Working with sponsors and attending corporate sponsorship recognition events falls within the scope of responsibilities for an NBA team ambassador. Meeting leadership from sponsoring organizations, posing for photos with the staff and contest winners from supporting organizations and appearing in media campaigns related to sponsorship are some of the team ambassador's duties.
Meeting and greeting fans is a fun task for an NBA team ambassador. Before, during and after games, as time permits, the NBA team ambassador poses for photos and interacts with the fan base, especially contest winners and special patrons at events. The ambassador also attends public rallies and meets and greets fans.
An NBA team ambassador raises morale for team members, coaching and support staff by using their on-the-court experiences, personal stories and leadership skills to help enhance performance and provide motivation. During playoff games, peak playing periods, or the change of a head coach, the expertise of an NBA team ambassador is useful for players and staff.
The chosen NBA team ambassador also supports community relations activities initiated and supported by the organization. Attending fundraisers for children's and other chosen charities, visiting community organizations and speaking out on behalf of causes in need of support are all responsibilities for an NBA team ambassador. The nature of the supported community programs and organizations depends on the club focus for community work and on the needs of the local community; work varies from NBA team to team and in different cities.