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NBA Postseason Broadcasts Boost Brands

Playoff Telecasts Create $207.1M in Value for Official NBA Partners

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Sponsorship Valuation
August 16, 2022
August 17, 2022
 min read

For sixteen NBA teams every season, the middle of April marks the beginning of a playoff sprint promising magnified interest in the outcome of every game along the way. While most regular season matchups are available only to fans in teams’ local markets – or those diehards who opt for NBA League Pass to keep up with all the action – national broadcasts take over once the postseason begins. Teams that may have only been featured on ESPN or TNT a handful of times since October are now shown on major networks nightly. Meaningful games attracting coast-to-coast audiences are prime platforms on which the NBA’s official partners can earn exposure and expand their customer bases. We used MVP’s broadcast platform to determine which of the league’s sponsors benefited the most from activations during the contests aired on ABC, ESPN, NBATV, and TNT. Collectively, 87 games comprising the 2022 NBA Playoffs attracted 274 million viewers, with the second round surpassing 101.1 million on its own. All the while, audiences were exposed to a range of official NBA partners, which collectively received $207.1M in broadcast brand value during the two-month-long tournament.

Google Earns All-NBA Brand Honors

Fans who watched NBA playoffs coverage this year undoubtedly noticed a plethora of NBA partner logos during telecasts – on the court, throughout arenas, and integrated into networks’ graphics. But a trio of official sponsors enjoyed exceptional prominence, especially through the Conference Finals in early June. Google, State Farm Insurance, and Kia Motors combined to accumulate 56.8% of all broadcast brand value earned by the league’s roster of partners. Google, along with its Google Pixel, led with $39.9M in total broadcast brand value. MVP’s AI-powered software detected the technology company’s familiar colorful logo 8,902 times throughout the playoffs for a cumulative duration of 41 hours, 17 minutes, and 42 seconds. State Farm Insurance finished just behind Google with $39.4M in broadcast brand value and also enjoyed the second-longest exposure duration, trailing Google by only two hours, 28 minutes, and 21 seconds over the course of the postseason. Kia Motors, which finished third in overall broadcast brand value at $38.4M, earned the second-most detections among all league partners, 8,670.

Rounding out the top five in terms of total broadcast brand value were Coinbase and YouTube, with $24.7M and $19.5M, respectively. YouTube, along with YouTube TV, was presenting partner of the NBA Finals and earned the majority of its brand value during the deciding series between the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics. Featured prominently in graphics integrations during the championship round, YouTube earned the highest value per detection among top sponsors, finishing the postseason with an average of $6,706. Furthermore, YouTube’s average value per second of exposure was $1,061 – 3.96x more than the $268 average realized by Google. Among brands not partnered with the NBA, none performed better on broadcasts than TD Bank Group, which is the title sponsor of Boston’s home arena. Throughout the postseason, TD earned $12.8M in broadcast brand value.

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First Round Offers Bevy of Exposure

Despite none of the first-round matchups requiring a seventh game, the series paring an initial postseason field of 16 to eight still represented roughly half of the total games during the playoffs. Accordingly, there were ample opportunities to generate broadcast value for NBA partners, as well as brands affiliated with competing teams. Activating sponsors capitalized on the bounty of exposure, with Kia Motors, Google, and State Farm all earning their highest round totals during the opening two weeks of the playoffs. Kia Motors’ $23.3M worth of opening round broadcast brand value was tops among all brands in any round of the 2022 postseason, achieving that mark thanks to its logo featuring on game telecasts for a total of 26 hours, 37 minutes, and 22 seconds across 43 games. Kia also received the highest broadcast brand value total during the Conference Finals, with its $8.1M in value pipping State Farm’s $7.2M and Google’s $6M.

Google was presenting partner for each of the first three rounds of the 2022 NBA Playoffs, but it only finished first in our round-by-round brand value rankings once. After placing second in broadcast brand value during the opening round, Google had its best relative total during the second stage of the postseason, when it led all brands with $11.2M in value. Ahead of the NBA Finals, presenting partner status shifted to YouTube. A company whose tagline is “Broadcast Yourself,” YouTube and YouTube TV took advantage of the time to shine on traditional broadcasts by earning $19.3M in broadcast brand value from games televised on ABC. The figure was at least 4.47x more than any other partner received during the six-game series.

Pole Pad Earns Pole Position

While watching a game, many viewers are unaware of how many times they are exposed to strategic sponsorship branding. Of course, jersey patches and on-court logos are immediately apparent, but the frequency with which telecasts capture logos featured on goal stanchions, courtside LED displays, and other signage is not always obvious. Each of these placements drives value and attention, and during the 2022 NBA Playoffs, none was worth more than the baskets’ pole pads. Throughout the postseason, logos on pole pads were visible on game broadcasts for 60 hours, 23 minutes, and 28 seconds – at least 1.67x longer than any other location. As a result, they generated $60.7M in broadcast brand value. Kia Motors and Coinbase, which finished third and fourth, respectively, in our total broadcast brand value rankings, were the top earners among those whose logos graced pole pads throughout the playoffs.

Finishing second among all placements were graphics integrations, with presenting partners Google and YouTube earning the greatest shares of $41.4M in broadcast brand value as a result of their logos being featured in program opens, score bugs, and other visuals. But while Google and YouTube were featured most frequently in graphics, 205 other brands were also showcased through CGI, increasing the placement’s total value generation. Goal stanchions were the third-most lucrative placements, creating $36.6M in broadcast brand value, and State Farm received the largest share of that total.

TV Coverage Amplifies NBA Partners’ Reach

Every season, the NBA Playoffs offer countless memorable moments across fan bases dreaming of their favorite players lifting the Larry O’Brien Trophy high above their heads. But while viewers’ focus is typically reserved for how the ball bounces, NBA partners are adept at seizing their audience’s attention through strategic logo placements and activations. In the upcoming final installment of MVP’s NBA Playoffs series highlighting league partners, we will present an omnichannel analysis spanning the postseason for a comprehensive look at how broadcast and social media complement each other.

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