NBA: The King of Sports Marketing

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The NBA has become the king of sports marketing. What exactly does that mean? Simple. The NBA has learned to adapt to the ever changing times, and not get left behind when it comes to its brand. Because of this, they have made theirselves relatable, and desirable, to multiple age groups. Also, they have maintained a strong presence in the business world. Consequently, The league has learned to loosen its grip on their players when it comes to social issues as well. In return, the players have generated revenue beyond imagine for the league.

Social Media Presence

The marketing of the business entrepreneur when it comes to the NBA is unique. Furthermore, the NBA has been able to capitalize on social media immensely. With each team having their own account with multiple platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter. Because of this, each team has been able to reach fans in a quicker, and more efficient way. Having a successful social media manager has also produced another highly competitive job market for younger people whom look to capitalize on their savvy communication skills. In theory, the league has been able to capture the audience using this tactic. With the various social media accounts, you get an inside look at the life of your favorite teams players, FOR FREE. The NBA using social media to become the the king of marketing is absolutely brilliant.

The NBA has been able to use Social Media to capture an almost behind the scenes look at the life of a NBA player on a daily basis.

Staying relevant during the offseason

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JULY 05: NBA players LeBron James (L) and Anthony Davis talk as they watch a game between the New Orleans Pelicans and the New York Knicks during the 2019 NBA Summer League at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 5, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The NBA has figured out a way to stay relevant during the offseason. That’s something that no other American sport has been able to accomplish to this level. Exhibit A: The NBA Summer League. Once seen as an almost waste of space, it has now evolved into a competitive tournament, all while displaying the best young entering the NBA. It has also become a place for current stars to show their faces during the offseason. Remember all the hype surrounding the debut of Lonzo Ball? In the SUMMER LEAGUE?! This game means nothing, folks. Doesn’t count at all. However, the NBA has been able to build this into something that fans greatly anticipate just like a regular season game. Additionally, being able to watch potentially the future of your franchise mere weeks after drafting him doesn’t hurt, either. This is just one of many reason why the NBA is the king of sports marketing.

NBA Stance on Social Issues

Dec 8, 2014; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving (2) wears an “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirt for warmups prior to the game against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. NBA king of Marketing. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

This is a big one. As we saw with the NFL, they did not handle the situation with their players kneeling very well. One has to think that if they just simply came out in public support for their players, the story would’ve died sooner. However, when they implemented their anti-kneeling policy, it only caused the story to grow. The NBA has publicly supported their players on being outspoken, and open, to social awareness issues multiple times. From being able to wear warm up shirts in unison of an issue during pre game activities, to allowing their players to speak their minds publicly both to the press, and on social media. The NBA has learned that standing by their players is easier than publicly going against them.



The NBA, along with its teams, realized how valuable it is to have their players seem relatable to the public. They have become very lenient when it comes to how the teams market their own players. Granted, them not being in helmets while playing is a MAJOR plus. However, the NFL has widely failed its players in getting them exposure to the public, and allowing players to show their personalities. Consequently, don’t even get me started on the MLB. The NBA marketing team has dominated the art of making their players as open, and available, as possible.

In conclusion, the NBA has unlocked a way of making their brand extend beyond the borders of the United States. The NBA has been able to develop International programs such as NBA Africa, and NBA Global. In China, more than 640 million people watched the NBA during the 16/17 NBA season. The NBA has learned how to tap into the international market, all while keeping a high profile here at home as well. Sure, the NFL is still more valuable than the NBA. However, with the NBA implementing these tactics to help its brand grow, it’s not illogical to think they could one day, be the king of sports. Because as of right now, the NBA is the King of Sports Marketing.

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Darren Jeans resides in Memphis, Tennessee. As a sports writer, he has been writing for over 5 years. His passion has always been to cover basketball at all levels. As the Director of Basketball Operations here at Overtime Heroics, he has pushed all of his writers to excel the norm when it comes to publishing work.