Male Gen-Z, Millennial Opps: NBA announces global campaign (Score 47)

The National Basketball Association (NBA) launched a global campaign called "That's Game" to promote the 2021 NBA Playoffs, which began May 22nd. There will be four TV sports that will air globally in 15 different languages. The league did not specify which ones, but the campaign will also be featured across "high-impact media."The NBA worked with creative agency Translation on the campaign. It also partnered with the popular game Fortnite by adding outfits for all 30 NBA teams to the game. We told you about the NBA's new media buying partner late last year

According to Pathmatics, the NBA earned 3.9b impressions through desktop display ads (47%), Facebook ads (31%), Instagram ads (14%), mobile display ads (5%), Twitter ads (2%) and desktop video ads (1%). It placed the majority (55%) of these ads site direct onto sites such as,,, and It placed the remainder (45%) indirectly through Verizon Media and Google AdX+AdSense onto sites such as,,, and It spent around $15.9m on digital display ads YTD, a 60% jump from $6.3m spent in this channel during the same time period of 2020. Full-year spend fell slightly (12%) from $19.3m in 2019 to $17.3m in 2020. 

Magellan reports the NBA placed about eight podcast ads over the last year. National Basketball Association

Per iSpot, the NBA spent around $962.9k on national TV ads YTD, just 29% of the $3.3m spent in this channel during the same time period of 2020. Full-year spend totaled $5.8m, just 30% of the $19.4m spent in 2019. This year, it placed ads during programming such as "2021 Billboard Music Awards," "NBA Basketball," "Saturday Night Live," "2021 PGA Championship" and "MLB Baseball." 

Sellers-- The NBA mainly targets Gen-Z and millennials with a male skew. It allocates the majority of its budget towards national TV and digital display ads, and has been increasing digital spend, while decreasing TV spend. This indicates it is likely targeting Gen-Zers and younger millennials more aggressively. It also invests in OOH, print and local broadcast TV ads, per Kantar. Sellers should reach out soon to secure possible last-minute campaign ad dollars. 

Agency & martech readers-- The NBA works with Translation, Ready Set Rocket, The Marketing Arm and Cartwright on creative. It also tapped Mediahub to help with media buying last year. Agency reviews commonly follow one another, so it might be worth contacting this organization and offering your services.