Snapchat Plans to Double Its NBA Content for the 2021 Season

A 72-game campaign is set to tip off Dec. 22

The upcoming season marks Snap Inc.’s sixth year of partnering with the NBA National Basketball Association/Snap Inc.

Snapchat is gearing up for what will hopefully be a return to a somewhat normal National Basketball Association season following the last campaign’s 141-day pandemic-forced shutdown before crowning the Los Angeles Lakers as champions in the bubble in Orlando, Fla.

The NBA Draft will jump-start the 2021 season Nov. 18, followed by the tipoff of a 72-game campaign Dec. 22.

Snapchat said in a blog post, “There’s nothing like the spectacle of a basketball arena at game time. It sends our senses into overdrive—the sounds of swooshes and buzzers, the scent of stadium concessions, the bright strobe lights, the high-fives that really slap, the silences so immense they’re almost deafening. It’s an experience that can’t be replicated anywhere, except on Snapchat. There are many unknowns about the future of the fan experience in sports, but there’s one thing we do know: Snapchat has reimagined the arena for millions of fans.”

National Basketball Association/Snap Inc.

This marks Snap Inc.’s sixth year of partnering with the league, and Snapchat will feature twice the NBA content as last season, including shows produced by the league, real-time highlights for every game and Snapchat-curated Our Stories.

NBA vice president of digital media Sam Farber said in the blog post, “Fans have always used Snapchat to bring themselves closer to NBA action, but this season, it took on an entirely new meaning. Whether enabling fans to virtually walk the official NBA floor or create content wearing their favorite team’s gear using augmented reality technology, Snapchat was an integral part of the fan experience for the 2019-20 NBA Season restart through the Finals.”

Other NBA-related data points shared by Snap included:

  • More than one-third of Snapchatters believe watching sports has become more meaningful since Covid-19, but one-third also feel that the fan experience has been negatively impacted.
  • 40% of the Generation Z population in the U.S. watch sports content on Snapchat Discover every day.
  • On average, nearly 5.5 million Snapchatters in the U.S. watch sports Discover content daily.
  • The average number of viewers per episode of NBA highlights on Snapchat rose 37% since the restart of last season.
  • NBA-themed lenses tallied 20% more playtime than U.S benchmarks.
  • 64% of Snapchatters who viewed NBA content since the restart of the season were between the ages of 13 and 34.
  • Snapchat offers a nearly 16% incremental reach to TV among advertisers’ intended audiences and a 45% incremental reach to TV among the 13-through-24 age group.

Snap said in its blog post, “From the Draft to the Finals, there are so many incredibly exciting moments that matter to NBA fans. This season, every second counts, and our fans will be sharing each moment on Snapchat, giving your brand endless opportunities to engage and meet fans in the most expressive virtual arena out there.”


david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.
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