NBA Players Delivering Most for Sponsors

Nikki Chellaswami, Insights Analysts

November 8th, 2023

As the NBA 2023-2024 season kicks off, we took a look at what players are raking in readers for their sponsors.

Investing in star athletes can help build brand awareness, but what athletes give sponsors the biggest bang for their buck? What athletes are doing more damage than good? What brands get the biggest boost from NBA endorsements? We dug into readership trends, or unique visitors for player coverage mentioning their sponsors, to better understand who’s winning off the court.

Here’s a quick snapshot of findings:

  • LeBron James is the #1 NBA athlete when it comes to readership for his endorsements. In the 4 months leading up to the season, he generated over 2M readers for Nike, around the LeBron James Innovation Center at Nike’s HQ, lifetime contract with the brand, his son’s endorsement deal with Nike, and signature shoes. 
  • Steph Curry is keeping Under Armour ranked in the top 3 for brands getting readership from sponsored NBA athletes.
  • Adidas finds itself (yet again) plagued with controversy when it’s most read about NBA endorsement, James Harden, attracted readers largely tied to his feud with the 76ers.
  • Kevin Durant and Victor Wembanyama each drove around 350,000 readers for Nike. Durant for his signature shoe line and lifetime contract, and Wembanyama leading up to his debut season in the NBA.

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