As the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) brand continues to grow exponentially worldwide, so too does its sponsorship revenue. 

A recent report by Sponsor United revealed that NBA sponsorship revenue hit $1.4bn for the past season, 10.5% higher than the previous year. This was largely attributed to the league’s growth internationally, as well as a record set for live attendances, spending growth and social media engagement reaching new heights. 

Sports United outlined the five industry companies in driving NBA sponsorship revenue: 

  1. Financial: $289m
  2. Technology: $96m
  3. Healthcare: $92m
  4. Beverage/Alcohol: $79m
  5. Sports Betting/Gambling/Lottery: $71m

With the NBA 2022-23 season winding down to its climax, as the Denver Nuggets await either the Miami Heat or Boston Celtics in next month’s finals, this season’s playoffs bolstered the NBA’s social media growth. 

Playoff teams saw their social media following grow by 33% as opposed to those who did not reach the postseason, which highlighted the importance of on-court success to fan engagement. 

The past season saw high-growth in various categories, such as financial, retail and sports betting, which helped drive sponsorship revenue with spending declining. The NBA’s deal with FanDuel as the league’s official sports betting partner has come at a fruitful time for both with the explosion of online sports betting in the US. 

Teams were not the only ones helping the NBA’s presence on online platforms, as the players are arguably the most valuable assets to the league. Sports United found that NBA athletes averaged almost 95,000 total social media engagements per-deal, 2.5 more than any other major US pro-sports athletes. 

Leading the way as the league’s most followed and influential figure continues to be LeBron James, adding more followers than any other athlete, whilst Stephen Curry and Giannis Antetokounmpo garnered more engagement than all other athletes combined. 

YouTube also continues to become a vital component of the NBA’s sponsorship and viewership figures, as younger audiences typically have shorter attention spans, meaning the necessity of highlight packages of games and players has become essential. 

Integrated YouTube sponsorship saw the highest increase in asset usage from the previous year, garnering more than 75 million unique viewers every 90 days. However, Sponsor United outlines that less than half of NBA teams are utilising the platform for sponsorship revenue. 

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