The NBA closed out the season with a bang on social media.
The league eclipsed 2 billion video plays for a 19% increase over last year — the latest evidence that the league has become a model for digital marketing in sports.
The uptick was due to several factors: The NBA celebrated its 75th anniversary, and the Finals featured a clash between the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics, two high-profile franchises in two of the biggest sports markets.
But the year belonged to Finals MVP Steph Curry, who became the league’s most marketed player, accounting for 28% of the NBA’s social video plays amid a pair of legendary performances in the title series.
The matchup, star presence, and aggressive marketing made for a record-breaking NBA Finals on social media.
- Video plays were up 19% from 2021; 45% from 2020; 56% from 2019.
- Instagram Reels (716M) accounted for 60% of the NBA’s social views during the Finals.
- The league hit 88 million YouTube views — a 60% jump from 2021; 47% from 2020.
On NBA-related sites and apps (i.e. NBA.com, NBA App), the league drew 61 million visits during the series — a 13% increase from last year.
The league is already a powerhouse in this space, and its dominance should only increase with the emergence of a younger demographic enjoying the game via social media — even if the bar has now been set formidably high.