NBA Players Building Endorsement Value From the Bubble

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The NBA Bubble has brought the world’s top basketball players together. Although isolated, the NBA’s best have found a variety of ways to maintain engagement with their fans. Nowhere has this opportunity been more obvious than social media. 

NBA Players have seen a 46% increase in Instagram activity in the bubble.

Away from their families and non-NBA friends, the players have gone all-in on Twitter and Instagram. In the 31 days since entering the bubble in early July, active NBA players have shared nearly 2,000 Instagram posts — an increase of 46% from the month prior to entering — racking up more than 105 million total engagements. 

Brands in the Bubble

With live basketball being back for hours nearly every day, NBA players currently claim a unique spotlight that brands crave. Fans are hungry for NBA content. Whether that’s a live broadcast, or Instagram Live stream, the league’s audience is taking notice. 

Brands, including NBA sponsors and licensees, have caught on and are activating social media endorsement campaigns with the league’s most influential athletes. Since returning to the Bubble, we’ve seen sponsored social media campaigns featuring NBA players from brands including:

  • Hulu
  • Gatorade
  • Got Milk?
  • CoStar
  • JBL Audio
  • Cameo
  • American Express
  • VistaPrint

On Instagram, Vista Print has earned credit for the most prominent promotion. Partnering with NBA fan-favorites including Bol Bol, Boban Marjanovic, and Tacko Fall, the brand has made a splash promoting mask usage with its #MyMaskIsMyTicket campaign. 

The performance on-court and on-social has been electric so far, and we can’t wait to see what’s next. To see who’s making the most of this one-of-a-kind moment, we looked to historical data from the past month.

These NBA players have produced peak performance on Instagram in terms of Activity, Engagement, Audience Growth, and Video Views from July 7 to August 6, 2020.

Live from the Bubble: Players Maximizing Endorsement Value on Social

Activity

Enes Kanter — 77 posts (2.57/day)
Damian Lillard — 43 posts (1.43/day)
Javale McGee — 24 posts (0.93/day)
Carmelo Anthony — 23 posts (0.77/day)
Dwight Howard — 22 posts (.73/day)

Engagement

LeBron James — 22.3 million engagements
Steph Curry — 8.3 million engagements
Giannis Antetokounmpo — 7.6 million engagements
Damian Lillard — 5 million engagements
Luka Doncic — 4.2 million engagements

Growth

LeBron James — 2.6 million new followers
Steph Curry — 165 thousand followers
Ja Morant — 155 thousand followers
Bol Bol — 137 thousand followers
Giannis Antetokounmpo — 132 million followers

Growth Rate

* Minimum 100 thousand followers

Jonathan Isaac — 131% (123 thousand new followers)
Matisse Thybulle — 31% (74 thousand new followers)
JJ Reddick — 27% (24 thousand new followers)
Bol Bol — 16% (137 thousand new followers)
Gary Trent Jr. — 13% (16 thousand new followers)

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