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The Zion Effect Explained

People really want to see him in person

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NCAA Basketball: Boston College at Duke
Feb 5, 2019; Durham, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward Zion Williamson (1) grabs a loose ball during the first half against the Boston College Eagles at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

This is shaping up to be a historic season in more ways than one. Duke is getting an enormous amount of attention and a lot of that is because of Zion OMG Williams, who is reaching fans in a way that at least one person is comparing to the Grateful Dead because people are following The Show.

According to, traffic to Duke ticket pages is up 82 percent from last year. That’s amazing.

As best as we can recall, Williamson is the fist guy to come to college with an overwhelming social media presence. Other guys would have if it had been around then - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was a high school sensation as was LeBron James - but the infrastructure wasn’t there yet.

It is for Williamson, and there’s a solid chance it’ll help him become a billionaire. The challenge his people will face, starting this summer, is how to translate his massive social media presence into the maximum possible financial reward without alienating the fans who made it possible.

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