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A Dynasty Continues

Warriors, Celtics Collectively Generate $39.2M in Post Value During NBA Finals

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Social Media
June 23, 2022
June 23, 2022
 min read

After a two-year hiatus from the playoffs – and three years beyond what many considered to be the closing of their championship window – the Golden State Warriors overcame seasons’ worth of doubt and adversity to lift the Larry O’Brien Trophy for the fourth time in eight years. Golden State rode a wave of stingy defense, timely scoring, and Stephen Curry mastery to victory against the Boston Celtics in the first NBA Finals matchup between the storied franchises since 1964. And despite pundits proclaiming the Warriors lacked enough pieces to return to glory, their fans’ social interactions suggested the organization’s “Strength in Numbers” mantra was more of a call to arms than a kitschy slogan. Followers flooded the Warriors’ social channels with engagements throughout the playoffs, but they took their online activity to another level during the Finals. We used MVP’s social platform to examine how both NBA finalists performed on social media during the championship series, exploring totals, trends, and platform differences between the pair. Overall, they combined to generate $39.2M in total post value, in part because of a collective 63.54 million engagements. But, much like the action on the court, Golden State overpowered its opponent online.

Golden State Completes Social Sweep

In each round of the 2022 NBA playoffs, Golden State generated post value totals equal to several multiples of what their counterparts were generating – even being responsible for two-thirds of all value generated by the conference finalists in the postseason’s penultimate series. Over the span of two months beginning with the opening Saturday of the first round, the Warriors earned $91.6M in total post value thanks to 130.16 million engagements resulting in 4.27 billion impressions. Only two other franchises finished the playoffs with more than $6M in total post value – Boston and Miami finished with $23.4M and $10.4M, respectively.

During the NBA Finals alone, Golden State accounted for $32.9M in post value, roughly 35.6% of their total for the playoffs. In a losing effort on the court, the Celtics managed only $6.2M worth of post value – 18.9% of the Warriors’ figure. The proportions were similar for other social metrics, including engagements and impressions. Golden State’s 51.68 million engagements from June 1-17 were 4.36x more than the Celtics earned, while its 1.53 billion impressions eclipsed the amount Boston created by 5.05x.

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Fans Love Winners

By virtue of their success, the Warriors were unsurprisingly more active on social media during the Finals than were the Celtics. But the 218 additional posts were not the reason behind Golden State’s total value, engagements, and impressions outpacing Boston’s figures. The Warriors’ post averages were also overwhelmingly higher than the Celtics produced. Their average post value of $36,917 exceeded Boston’s average by 4x, and that gap was even wider on Facebook and Instagram. Golden State averaged $64,084 in post value on Facebook and $63,175 on IG, compared to $11,257 and $10,973, respectively, for Boston. Partly as a result of a larger content volume, the difference on Twitter was not as vast. However, Golden State’s average post value of $26,429 was still 2.61x more than Boston’s average.

Additionally, Golden State’s average values were higher during the NBA Finals than they were in the Western Conference Finals on all three major platforms. The Warriors’ overall average rose 10% round-over-round due to boosts of 3% on Instagram, 19% on Twitter, and 20% on Facebook. Meanwhile, Boston’s average post value in the championship round was 6% lower than its Eastern Conference Finals figure, including a 3% value drop on Instagram and an 8% decline on Twitter.

Playoffs Spotlight Platform Specialties

Consistent with each of the three previous playoff rounds, Twitter was the source of more post value during the NBA Finals than any of the other social platforms, amassing $17.3M throughout the series. Notably, however, all three major networks increased their total post value generation by at least 32% round-over-round, led by Facebook’s 35% boost. And although the field was halved from one round to the next, overall post value jumped by $10M. Our data also revealed the continuation of a shift that began after the conference semifinals. During the first two rounds of the playoffs, average post values were highest on Instagram, with Facebook finishing second in the category. However, in both the conference finals and NBA Finals, Facebook wore the average post value crown. In the Celtics-Warriors series, the average post value on Facebook was $38,676, compared to $35,870 on Instagram and $20,642 on Twitter. Finally, in line with the other rounds, Instagram earned the most engagements by a wide margin. The Celtics and Warriors collectively drew 41.8 million engagements on the image-sharing network – 65.8% of the total across all platforms – while their combined average was 5.61x higher on IG than Facebook and a resounding 13.5x higher than their Twitter average.

To the Victors Go the Spoils

A bicoastal NBA Finals is bound to take its toll on all participants, and only the strongest team can survive such an exhausting battle to claim the championship all 30 franchises envisioned winning when training camps opened last September. This year, as has been the case three other times since 2015, the Golden State Warriors were the victors that scaled the NBA postseason mountain. Ultimately, they documented their playoff journey on social by sharing 2,882 pieces of content and earning 56.4% of the postseason participants’ collective post value along the way. Tonight begins the unofficial start of the 2022-23 NBA season, with a draft that will impact the future of the league. But for now, the Warriors reign supreme. Again. Stay connected with MVP for further NBA insights in the coming weeks, including a broadcast analysis from the Finals and an omnichannel evaluation of the 2022 NBA Draft.

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