NBA Sidesteps Other Sports Leagues to Score 2018 MVP
We’ve heard it before: “Baseball is America’s pastime.” “Football is America’s passion.” “Basketball is …” Hmm, we’ll have to think of something. How about one of 2018’s best brands? Sho’ was. By catching the attention of America’s youth, being the progressive sports league, and using a social media strategy that swatted away competition, the NBA won 2018.
How does a sports league with a stacked conference, visible team disparity, and a championship game that features the same two teams four years running see an 8% increase in viewers (14% among 18-to-34s, 15% among 18-to-49s)? All this, in addition to four straight years of increased attendance with a record 741 sellouts? Two words: social media.
With 33.3 million Instagram followers, the NBA virtually doubled the NFL and MLB reach, also beating them out on Reddit and Twitter. This was aided by stars such as LeBron James, who used social media to promote their own brands—but also to discuss societal issues, which expanded the NBA’s access (both nationally and internationally). Most importantly, the NBA embraced this! This forward-thinking approach capitalized on social shifts taking place in the country.
Finally, for the ultimate crossover, the NBA’s sponsored uniforms (initially met with fan resistance—fearing team’s uniforms would turn into NASCAR jumpsuits) were unveiled with mostly unassuming, comfortable sponsor decals.
Sports leagues are moneymaking machines. They make their money from the talent of their players and the tickets they sell. The NBA is “the player’s league” and it has paid off, literally. With a resounding slam-dunk, the NBA was one of 2018’s best brands.
- SOURCE: SB Nation
- BRANDS: NBA
- WHY it’s one of the best brands of 2018: The average value of an NBA franchise is $1.65 billion