NBA in iGaming: Can They Compete with the NFL?

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As the US continues to regulate its market and open further to the iGaming market, the four major North American sports continue to battle for the attention of sports bettors through the region. The NBA is one of those four leagues and has been making a strong case for itself as a major part of the iGaming fabric in the region.

While it’s difficult for any sports league to dislodge the NFL, the NBA found itself in second when it came to placed bets in the US at the end of 2022, with 54% of total bets. The NFL found itself with the lion share at 81%, but the NBA was also in a much stronger place than the MLB (at 44%) especially considering this research was done during the MLB playoffs, which most would assume would increase their visibility and betting total.

Considering the strong place the NBA has in the iGaming industry, we’ve decided to break down the sport’s place in the iGaming world, along with providing some helpful tips to help brands connect with its fans!

iGaming in the NBA

The NBA is somewhat of a pioneer in the North American iGaming world, as its commissioner, Adam Silver, was one of the first to come out and support the idea of regulating online sports betting in the US. Silver was appointed as commissioner in early 2014 before penning an Op-ed later that year for The New York Times on why he believed it was time to ‘Legalize and Regulate Sports Betting’. He was the first commissioner of the four major sports leagues to make a statement of this nature and one of the first to pave the way.

The NBA leads the way with its content as well, offering their fans NBA branded betting show with NBABet along with its own social media handle.

The other major NA leagues don’t have any shows or social media presence focused on betting like the NBA, though they promote gambling on their networks more passively.

Like the other major North American leagues, the NBA is also partnered with SportsRadar, agreeing with them back in 2017 to become Official Provider of Real-time NBA League Statistics. Then in 2021, they announced that DraftKings and FanDuel would be the Co-official Sports Betting Partners of the NBA, giving them two massive partners in the iGaming world to help them grow.

Marketing Strategies

With the NBA Playoffs underway, that brings in millions of viewers, making it the prime time for brands and affiliates to connect with NBA fans. The first thing to consider is that the NBA recently amended their advertising rules on ‘risk-free- bets', which you can read about in full here.

When it comes to what to offer, many NBA fans prefer to bet on spreads or money line bets, as it has less variance than other bet types. For example, player prop bets in the US are less popular, as player production varies far too much from game to game. When looking at advertising offers on the league, focus offers on those type of betting options as they’re most popular.

The NBA is a sport centered around individual stars more than any other sport, as with smaller rosters, one or two true superstars can make a team more competitive than any other sport. Considering that, marketing materials should be concentrated on those star players. While we mentioned earlier that player prop bets are less popular on the NBA, mixing in betting offers on player props for superstar players can also be considered.

Key Takeaways

The NBA has been a strong proponent in the iGaming world for a long-time now and it’s led to a strong piece of market share in the US when it comes to sports betting. With the NBA playoffs currently heating up, this is the ideal time for brands and affiliates to focus their attention on basketball and promoting the right offers to their audience.