The 2022/23 NBA season–the league’s 77th–tipped off on Tuesday with a marquee doubleheader. As fans gear up for a slew of exciting match-ups over the next six months, here’s a glimpse at how the league’s teams and players fared on social media during the offseason.
NBA teams stayed active with 3,187 sponsored posts across 366 deals since mid-June, engaging over 18.7M followers–an average of 51K per deal and 5.6K per post.
Top 5 offseason posts (by total engagement):
- Bibigo x LA Lakers – 526K
- UCLA Mattel Children’s x LA Lakers – 514K
- Rakuten x Golden State Warriors – 333K
- Oracle x Golden State Warriors – 227K
- Coinbase x Chicago Bulls – 197K
The Lakers and the Warriors dominated social media during their time off, generating a combined 42% of the NBA’s total engagement. The Lakers accounted for 20%, engaging 3.7M fans across 103 posts–40 of which were with Korean food company Bibigo, the team’s jersey patch sponsor. Five of the NBA’s 10 most engaging posts were Lakers’ branded posts, 3 of which were with Bibigo.
Engaging 4.1M followers across 291 posts–192 with Oracle–the Warriors were responsible for 22% of the NBA’s social engagement since last season ended. The team averaged engagement of 415K per brand, eclipsing the Lakers’ 234K per partner. The Warriors’ offseason social activity with Oracle amassed over 1M more engagements than any other NBA partnership, due in large part to its plethora of posts.
NBA players were also busy on social media during the offseason, as Lebron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo proved why they’re among the four highest paid players in the league.
Top 5 NBA player offseason posts (by total engagement):
- Lobos 1707 Tequila x Lebron James – 1.8M
- Sports Illustrated x Lebron James – 1.121M
- Brown & Brown Custom Clothiers x Giannis Antetokounmpo – 1.118M
- Zion Williamson x Jordan Brand – 585K
- RIMOWA x Lebron James – 579K
Athletes with supersize social media clout naturally command much bigger deals. Here are the NBA giants with the highest-earning endorsement portfolios, and some of their deep-pocketed brand partners.
Estimated NBA athlete endorsement portfolio earnings (Source: Sportico)
- Lebron James – est. $75M
- Cypto.com, GMC, Ruffles
- Kevin Durant – est. $48M
- NBA Top Shop, Weemaps, Nike
- Steph Curry – est. $45M
- Rakuten, FTX, Literati
- Giannis Antetokounmpo – est. $44M
- WhatsApp, Nike, Breitling
- Russell Westbrook – est. $25M
- Jordan Brand, Converse, Varo