Like You, Advertisers Don’t Yet Give A Damn About the NBA Lockout

Posted by J Dan in Opinion

Like it? Disagree with it? Consider linking to this post on your site. Subscribe to this blog and never miss an update.

The next time the NBA puts balls through hoops could be...well...who knows.

I’m definitely not in the camp that think the NBA lockout is irrelevant to most fans. I just think it’s really really hard to get riled up about the possible loss of a sport BEFORE you would actually begin to watch. Obviously, the NFL is a little different because it has managed to ingrain itself so much into our daily lives via fantasy football, holiday showings, watch parties etc etc that even the first day of the NFL lockout inspired some panic.

But just cause football has become a religion of sorts doesn’t mean nobody cares about the NBA. It just means nobody cares…yet. Including advertisers.

“Advertisers are somewhat concerned, but it’s much easier to plan around the lack of an NBA schedule than the lack of an NFL schedule,” said GroupM chief investment officer Rino Scanzoni. “Those viewers can be recaptured in other programs.”

November’s games have already been lost, but ad spending on the NBA is heavily back-loaded to the second half of the season and the playoffs, when ratings and fan interest surge. ESPN is shifting early-season ad dollars into its menu of college football and basketball games, while Turner, whose TNT broadcasts were set to add Shaquille O’Neal as a commentator this season, is eyeing avenues such as TBS and Adult Swim programming to keep the ad spending in-house.

“Turner has a diverse portfolio of programming and platforms to provide our advertising partners with a broad range of options for their distinct brand message,” Turner spokesman Sal Petruzzi said. “Turner Sports is working together with our advertising partners on alternative programming options which reach the NBA-targeted demos across the company’s portfolio of brands, programs and platforms, including TBS, Adult Swim, truTV, and Conan.”

And so far, there’s no indication that advertisers are running much for the hills.

“There’s not that many people lying awake at night worrying about this,” said Peter Farnsworth, a former NBA executive who heads sports marketer Foxrock Partners and advises league advertisers. “With the NFL, people would have been rushing Capitol Hill.”

The attitude advertisers have right now is pretty expected given the fact that, like the article points out, games have only been lost through November and most NBA advertising is loaded on the back end of the season. You know, after the all star break when, you know, people…like…actually start watching. If people really paid attention to the NBA prior to the break you’d see more intensity on the part of everyone to get a deal done. I don’t think advertisers are alone in their delayed concern.

If you’re wondering which advertisers spend the most during NBA season, Ad Age has a handy chart:


# Marketer NBA Ad Spending Oct 2010-June 2011
1 Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile) 30,064
2 Yum Brands 29,232
3 General Motors Co. 25,419
4 Sony Corp. 24,848
5 Time Warner 23,000
6 National Basketball Association 20,389
7 Kia Motors Corp. 19,605
8 Ford Motor Co. 18,146
9 SABMiller (MillerCoors) 17,866
10 Comcast Corp. 17,613
11 McDonald’s Corp. 16,065
12 Chrysler Corp. 15,768
13 Toyota Motor Corp. 15,279
14 U.S. Government* 14,656
15 Honda Motor Co. 14,195
16 Apple 13,486
17 PepsiCo 13,023
18 Berkshire Hathaway (mostly Geico) 12,366
19 Verizon Communications 11,739
20 Heineken 11,582
21 AT&T 11,154
22 Mazda Motor Corp. 10,663
23 Walt Disney Co. 10,525
24 News Corp. 10,095
25 Anheuser-Busch InBev 10,022





About J Dan
Football-obsessed Writer and Blogger. I'm the Goodwitch of the NFL.
  • Milkipedia

    How does Coca-Cola not make this list when Sprite is an official NBA beverage??? *confused*

  • J Danielle

    Could be that Coca-cola’s spending is included under NBA spending since it’s a partnership. If not, I have no idea. 

Find J Danielle On Other Sites

For Your Information

Find An NFL Player or Team

  • About
  • Contact
  • Player Reps
  • Players
  • Privacy Policy
  • Player Perspective | News on the NFL - National Football League and Players Association Page 3

    Switch to our mobile site