NBA on course to generate sponsorship worth $1bn in 2023

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Sponsorship remains key in supporting the National Basketball Association (NBA) in maintaining its global status as the most popular professional sports leagues in the world.

For the 2023 season, the basketball league generated more than $1 billion in sponsorship review, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

GlobalData’s latest report, “NBA Finals 2023 – Post Event Analysis” reveals that in 2023, the NBA’s enormous sponsorship revenue is topped by its deal with Take-Two Solutions, worth $157.14 million annually. In return, the video game developer, Take-Two Solutions, has partnered with the basketball league to create the NBA 2K video game series, the most popular basketball video game on the planet, which was sold 10 million copies in 2018.

Joe Pacinella, Sport Analyst at GlobalData, said: “The NBA’s deals with 2K Sports, Nike and PepsiCo offer a huge source of revenue for the league and resonate with fans, as many NBA fans play the 2K video game, wear a lot of Nike apparel and drink some of PepsiCo’s beverages during matches in stadiums. These are the top three deals with the NBA, all worth over $100 million annually, a testament to the incredible popularity and exposure of the basketball league.”

Tissot, the luxury Swiss watch brand, serves as the official watch and timekeeper of the NBA, in a deal worth $60 million annually. The brand has spent $61.15 million annually in total over three deals with the NBA, ranking as the fourth highest spending brand on its roster and illustrating the value of partnering with the basketball league, which focuses heavily on marketing itself globally and expanding its reach.

Deals with Rakuten and Michelob Ultra also offer a huge source of revenue for the NBA, both worth $50 million annually, and will provide solid foundations for the NBA’s operations.

Pacinella added: “American Express (Amex) has a $40 million-a-year deal to sponsor the NBA and serve as the official credit card partner of the professional basketball league. The American banking brand provides exclusive game access to Amex members and has collaborated with the NBA to enhance fan experiences and increase engagement.”

Brand logos flooded the NBA Finals, with many noticed across the Ball Arena and the Kaseya Centre. The average attendance for this year’s NBA Finals stood at 19,687, with fans paying from $500 to $31,629 for certain games, evidencing the demand for the NBA Finals and how defining the level of exposure can be for the NBA’s partners.

Pacinella concluded: “Over 50% of the NBA’s 85 deals are worth over $5 million annually, highlighting the high price for brands to partner with the competition and demonstrating how worthwhile the exposure is. This is also proven by the TV audience numbers during the NBA Finals, with Game 5 of the Denver Nuggets’ triumph averaging 13.1 million viewers on ABC in the US, and the 2023 NBA Playoffs accumulating eight billion viewers across the NBA’s social platforms.”

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Stuart O'Brien

All stories by: Stuart O'Brien