NBA attracting more younger viewers this season

Associated Press  |  Last updated May 10, 2012
Blake Griffin's dunk contest winner - a soaring jam over a car during last year's NBA All-Star weekend - set off more social media buzz than a Super Bowl ad. ''Once in a lifetime,'' said Tim Chaney, the marketing director for Kia, which was lucky enough to have the electrifying moment fused with its product before a national TV audience. What's less unique is Griffin's status as a young, engaging, Twitter-savvy NBA star. The emergence of the Clippers forward and others like him may explain the league's increased appeal among coveted but hard-to-attract younger viewers. ''The league has always done a good job promoting its stars,'' Chaney said. ''It's a star-driven league, and there's a new, emerging class of younger stars.'' The lockout-shortened season drew robust TV ratings across the board. But the numbers were particularly strong among the young - a development that sponsors always like to see. TNT had its highest-rated regular season in its 28-year relationship with the NBA, as the average viewership increased 4 percent from last season. Among adults aged 18-34, though, the audience was up 13 percent, and the median viewer age decreased from 38 years to 36.7. On ESPN, the median age of viewers decreased from 37 years to 36.4, and on ABC, it dropped from 41.8 to 40.8. ABC also had its highest-rated regular season for NBA games on the network, up 10 percent from last year. Among viewers 18-34, the rating increased 15 percent. ''Our fan response across everything we do has been terrific - from television to attendance to social media,'' Commissioner David Stern said on a conference call before the start of the playoffs. ''Our sponsors are very happy with the way the league has charged back and we are looking forward to a very exciting playoffs.'' The demographic reached by the NBA has always been enticing to longtime sponsor Sprite, said Sharon Byers, Coca-Cola's senior vice president of sports and entertainment for North America. ''We understand the ratings are going to ebb and flow,'' she said. ''At the end of the day, the NBA targets an avid fan that Sprite wants to connect to. It's a younger fan, a multicultural fan, very tech-savvy.'' Stern wonders if the strong viewership after this lockout compared with 1999 is partly the result of social media. Fans could stay connected with players and with news of the negotiations in a way they couldn't pre-Twitter. ''So in some ways, our community, through social media, was staying engaged, and that's a big differentiator in the way the world currently exists,'' the commissioner said. And it's those tech-savvy young fans who are most comfortable staying engaged that way. ''In our research, we look at people and they're not just watching on TV,'' Byers said. ''They've got their iPhone out, their iPad out. It's very important not only to think about the marketing partnership in terms of pulling in consumers but in how they are going to consume.''
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Bright future for Minnesota Timberwolves

Eli and Archie Manning say Peyton won’t likely leave Denver if he plays in 2016

NCAA mulls changes to graduate transfer and targeting rules

Cavs active in NBA trade market, covet Jared Dudley

Roger Goodell expectedly dodges Patriots-related questions at Super Bowl

Baltimore Orioles acquire starting pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne


USC athletic director Pat Haden to retire in June

Report: Browns owner ‘frustrated, emotional’ about Johnny Manziel

Raiders and Texans to play MNF game in Mexico City in 2016

Goodell wants to keep Raiders, Chargers in home markets

Deadly shooting breaks out at Dublin boxing weigh-in

Mike Shula vs. Wade Phillips: The best story of Super Bowl 50

WATCH: Cubs' Kris Bryant went swimming with sharks

Sports Authority taking steps to file for bankruptcy

Major League Baseball threatens to disassociate from DraftKings

NFL considering moving Pro Bowl to Australia

Joe Montana warns NFL players about potential long-term damage after retirement

Report: Two people fired for leaking Jason Pierre-Paul information

USMNT are big favorites against Canada

‘Crying Jordan’ photographer had no idea it existed until this week

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in the NHL playoff hunt

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

‘Actor’ Todd Gurley wants to make ‘billions’

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

David Price donates $300K to build field for special needs kids

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Manziel's father fears for QB's life

Johnny Manziel dropped by agent

Michael Irvin: Cowboys should save Manziel

QUIZ: Name the Super Bowl halftime performers since 1991

The merits of trading Blake Griffin to the Hornets

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

Could the Marlins contend in 2016?

Report: Browns to cut Manziel in March

Browns rip Manziel in statement

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker