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Clarifying the NBA Playoffs Value Picture

Five Highest-Earning Sponsors Surpass $200M in Total Brand Value During 2022 Postseason

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Social Media
Sponsorship Valuation
August 17, 2022
August 17, 2022
 min read

Playing until mid-June is the goal for every NBA team. Navigating a daunting playoffs schedule to reach the Finals and compete for a championship is a privilege reserved only for the league’s best. But for NBA partners, the postseason is a significant opportunity to appeal to potential clients on a nightly basis for two months. Brand managers know their exposure window is open from the first round’s opening tip-off in April until a champion celebrates with champagne. Yet, logo and branding prominence on game broadcasts and social media is imperative to maximize sponsorship potential. The final installment of our 2022 NBA Playoffs brand value generation series shows how the league’s top partners compared using an omnichannel approach. We compiled social media data pertaining to relevant postseason NBA content shared across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube from April 15 through June 18 and combined it with our broadcast figures spanning 87 playoff games over that timespan to determine which partners enjoyed the most brand value success. Our examination revealed the five highest-earning sponsors collectively received $200.7M in brand value, with a familiar presenting partner leading the way.

Google Takes Value Generation Crown

Through the Conference Finals, Google was the presenting partner of the NBA Playoffs. Its blue, red, yellow, and green logo was prominent in graphics integration during the 81 games contested ahead of the NBA Finals, and branding for the Google Pixel was commonplace on social media images and tags. As a result, the multinational technology organization earned the most social brand value and broadcast brand value among all NBA partners throughout the postseason, realizing a combined total of $56.1M. Like a good neighbor, State Farm was near the top with Google in both categories. Although the insurance company edged Kia Motors by less than $1M in total broadcast brand value, its $3.75M edge in social brand value cemented its standing as the second-highest earning sponsor among NBA’s official partners with $47.5M. Kia rounded out the top three with an overall brand value total of $42.8M thanks to its strong showing in game broadcasts, where it earned $38.4M in brand value in large part due to its logo placement on pole pads during the playoffs. Finally, YouTube’s $27.3M in total brand value pipped Coinbase’s aggregate by a mere $360,912 for fourth in our rankings. Boosted by its status as presenting sponsor of the NBA Finals, YouTube’s social brand value for the playoffs was 3.49x more than Coinbase received.

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Top Value Earners Build Early Lead

Kia, Google, and State Farm all exceeded $20M in broadcast brand value during the first round of the 2022 NBA postseason, with their branding featuring prominently during game coverage through pole pads, graphics integration, goal stanchions, and various other forms of signage. When added to their respective social brand values generated during the opening round, they were each able to set the sponsorship tone for the rest of the playoffs. Google’s $28.8M in total brand value through the first round was 51.3% of its total. Meanwhile, State Farm’s $23.6M first round figure was 49.6% of its total and Kia accumulated 59.2% of its comprehensive brand value sum during the first set of series. The trio subsequently maintained consistency as the top three brand value earners – although State Farm and Kia’s place in the rankings swapped during the second round – through the Conference Finals. And despite only receiving $852,281 in brand value during the NBA Finals, Google remained atop our rankings for the postseason as a whole. The Finals, however, is when YouTube took the presenting partner torch from Google, and it proved lucrative for the video-sharing company. During the six-game series between Golden State and Boston, YouTube earned $25.9M in overall brand value – 94.8% of its postseason total. Coinbase finished second in total brand value generation during the NBA Finals with $4.6M, followed by State Farm with $4.5M.

Awaiting the New Season’s Dawn

Among franchises this season, only the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics lasted until the NBA’s championship-deciding night. But the league’s official partners were present for each of their games throughout the postseason as well as those contested by the other 14 contenders who began with similar goals. As evidenced by MVP’s omnichannel platform, both social media and game broadcasts played a role in providing exposure for league and team partners, but their impact varied. The top five value earners among official NBA sponsors during the playoffs received 80.6% of their collective total through broadcast coverage, demonstrating its continued significance despite waning traditional viewership figures in recent years. With the new season set to begin on October 18, NBA partners would be wise to continue positioning themselves well with broadcast affiliates.

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