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NBA Sponsorship Spending Up 9% Last Season

Media Post, October 12, 2015

By Steve McClellan

Sponsorship spending on the National Basketball Association and its 30 teams totaled $739 million last season, up 8.9 percent from the previous year’s $679 million, according to research from IEG, part of WPP’s ESP Properties.

Anheuser-Busch is the most active sponsor of the NBA. Eighty-one percent of NBA-related properties with a sponsor in the beer category report a partnership with the company and its brands. Other big sponsors include State Farm insurance company, Gatorade, Adidas, Coca-Cola and MillerCoors.

Insurance overtook automakers to become the most active category sponsoring the NBA, per the IEG research. Insurance companies are five times more likely to sponsor professional basketball than the average of all sponsors.

Auto and beer are the second and third most active categories, followed by banks/credit cards, quick service restaurants and telecom.

“The NBA’s growing popularity—particularly in international markets—continues to drive corporate interest in the league and its teams,” said William Chipps, IEG Sponsorship Report senior editor.

The NBA announced four new partners during the 2014-2015 season, including Harman, Kaiser Permanente, PepsiCo and Under Armour.