The National Basketball Association (NBA) is one of four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada, the other three being the MLB, NFL, and NHL. The league, now 73 years old has captivated fans not only in the United States but across the globe.
It is one of the most recognizable leagues in the world and seemingly on the upward curve which will continue for some time before it stagnates. The sheer influence of the teams and personalities make it a sought-after entertainment commodity. The league revenue for the 2017/18 season was a staggering $8.01bn, double the figure of the 2011/2012 season. Now, what makes the league so special?
The NBA boasts some of the best players the league has ever seen and it is partially due to the exclusivity of the sport. There is a lot of international players plying their trade in this esteemed league, take for instance the two biggest winners of the 2018/2019 season MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo is from Greece. Rookie of the year was Dallas Maverick sensation Luka Doncic hailing from the land of caves Slovenia. All the best players in the world jumping under one umbrella can only have one outcome. Just imagine if all football stars the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Neymar, Harry Kane all played in the same league? Pretty much what’s happening in the NBA. This coupled with the regular endorsement of A-list celebrities make it a notoriously famous league and where there’s fame there’s interest.
MONEY MONEY MONEY
NBA franchises are at their most profitable than they have ever been. The average franchise valuation is at $1.9 billion almost 14% up over the last three years, yes that is ridiculous considering there are 30 teams in the league. As of 30 May 2019, Juventus, the most successful club in Italy has been valued at $1.51 billion. The startling aspect of these two comparisons is that the gap will continue to widen, the growing TV audience means the NBA will be even bigger in the coming years. The NBA’s logo patch sponsorship has already made a significant impact with teams reaping the financial rewards of the sport’s popularity. The excitement and star-studded rosters are bringing new people to the game. According to Sports Retriever, there has been a significant spike in audiences between the 18-49 age group resulting in the NBA selling 95% of its entire ticket allocation with a total of 741 stadium sellouts. Football can’t even begin to challenge these numbers.
Embracing the outreach of social media has become a gamechanger for sporting teams around the world. The NBA has more followers than the world’s richest league the NFL. It is easy to upload real-time footage such as pre-match training, behind the scenes and exclusive player interviews. Players are major assets and a leveraging opportunity to promote the franchise. In some odd instances’ players are contractually bound to use social media to engage with fans, somewhat odd but anything that makes the brand look good.
We’re heading into another polarising season and coming off the back of a trading frenzy, fans can be sure to witness the sport blaze to new heights on the court and on the Forbes list.
Top 10 Most Valuable Teams
- Dallas Cowboys – $5bn
- New York Yankees – $4.6bn
- Real Madrid – $4.2bn
- FC Barcelona – $4.02bn
- New York Knicks – $4bn
- Manchester United – $3.81bn
- New England Patriots – $3.8bn
- Los Angeles Lakers – $3.7bn
- Golden State Warriors – $3.5bn
- Los Angeles Dodgers – $3.3bn