Now that the NBA Finals are behind us, the players will take a quick break and begin planning for next season. But that process isn’t exclusive to the athletes on the court. The brands and sponsors associated with the NBA will soon start drawing up plays as well.
More than any other industry, professional sports give us a transparent look at the relationship between brand and influencer. With the massive audiences on both sides, Twitter allows us to put the impact of those relationships under a microscope. In this infographic, we took the most mentioned players across the NBA and analyzed how many times they’re mentioned with some of the top brands and sponsors associated with the league. Take a look!
There’s a very solid reason behind brand partnerships with athletes and influencers.
Nike partners with Lebron James so that when he comes up in conversation, our brain makes the following associations:
- 1. Basketball
- 2. Shoes.
On Twitter, @KingJames has 13.2M followers. Compare that to @NikeBasketball’s 1.18M. It’s a powerful relationship for Nike to piggy back on their superstar influencer – and as the infographic points out – it’s working.
Tweets from this period are on point with what Nike would hope to see. Sneaker enthusiasts and bloggers are busy talking about new basketball shoes alongside @KingJames and @NikeBasketball:
Creating the seamless relationship between traditional television and native social advertising can be a huge opportunity for any brand, in any industry. Telling these stories cohesively will create an instant connection in our brains, and one that won’t disappear any time soon.
As brands take to the offseason, what can they do to leverage the social influence of their biggest ambassadors? Creating a seamless story across all of their properties – both social and traditional – will help to cement these relationships and unconscious associations in our minds.