The National Basketball Association (NBA) is looking to expand its marketing efforts to Europe this season. They appointed Saatchi & Saatchi as their advertising partner to close the gap between European viewership and American basketball and drive more engagement. The first joint marketing effort is due in October, when Saatchi & Saatchi will develop a digital marketing campaign in conjunction with NBA’s requirements.

Chris Kay, the CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi, said:

“We couldn't be more excited at adding the NBA to our client roster, and we are pretty energized at being given the chance to help deepen the love for one of Europe's fastest-growing sports.”

This wouldn’t be the first time the NBA attempted to engage viewership outside the US. It already has an extensive international presence, spanning 215 countries worldwide, with a massive social following to boot. In fact, NBA has one of the largest social media communities of all the major brands that operate internationally and has had a profound cultural impact over the years.

European loyalty to the world-renowned basketball league is no different, but the NBA decided to boost its engagement with that particular audience nonetheless. There’s always more to do regarding marketing and building relationships with viewers, as reinforced by the NBA’s latest partnership with Saatchi & Saatchi.

NBA plans the return of regular-season games on European soil. London was home to regular-season games from 2011 to 2019, making Saatchi & Saatchi the perfect pick for NBA, seeing as how their London wing has inside knowledge on the best ways to engage a local audience. The first game to return to Europe should be a skirmish between Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons, broadcast live from the 20,300-capacity Accor Arena in Paris in January 2023.

This will be the first NBA game in Paris after a three-year hiatus following the match between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Charlotte Hornets in January 2020. After the first game of 2023, we’re likely to see the return of more regular-season games played on European soil. In Europe, the excitement is already high as viewers are trying to find a way to get their hands on tickets.

For the agency, it’s a continuation of a seemingly unstoppable growth trend, as Saatchi & Saatchi gets drafted by one major brand after the other. BT Sport, Siemens, Marriott, and Churchill all recently enlisted Saatchi & Saatchi as the agency of choice.

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