The NBA topped $10 billion in annual revenue for the first time ever in the 2021-22 season. The league also earned $8.9 billion in basketball-related earnings. This stems from team merchandise sales, sponsorships, ticket sales, marketing, television/streaming views.
When asked about these accomplishments, NBA commissioner Adam Silver released a statement to the press, “The numbers did surprise me to a certain degree because it exceeded, and the projections represent where we think our business is going. I think it’s quite remarkable from where we came two-and-a-half years ago.”
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NBA annual revenue reaches $10 billion
In October 2021, Silver projected $10 billion in revenue for the 2021-22 season. That was the league’s target goal. He made it a point to talk about the importance of cable television bundles as well. Regional sports networks are facing difficult challenges, such as cord-cutting.
Per CNBC financial analysts, approximately $2 billion of the league’s revenue is derived from media rights. Not to mention, the NBA earned $1.4 billion in sponsorship revenue. That is an increase of 50% from sponsorship revenue in the 2020-21 season. The league’s sponsors include Microsoft, State Farm, Nike, PepsiCo, Verizon, Google and other ones.
Considering professional sports leagues and people all across the world are still dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, $10 billion in annual revenue is quite an achievement. By the end of the 2020-21 season, the league generated roughly $6.41 billion. Earnings were down 35% from accumulated NBA annual revenue the year prior.
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The Lakers and Knicks are two of the highest earning teams
Interesting enough, the NBA earned $7.92 billion in the 2019-20 season. Before the 2021-22 season, Silver told the press, “We lost significant amounts of money. The good news is we’re able to take a long-term view of this business and continue to grow in it. We try to look at it as an ongoing investment in the business over a long period of time, as opposed to a loss of individual seasons.”
According to Statista, the Lakers generated the highest revenue for a team in 2021. The estimated amount is $316 million. Ranking second, the Knicks generated $298 million, followed by the Jazz ($262 million), Warriors ($258 million) and 76ers ($236 million). By team, the NBA annual revenue data for 2022 has not yet been released.
Moreover, per Forbes, the top 5 most valuable NBA teams in 2022 are the Knicks ($5.8 billion), Warriors ($5.6 billion), Lakers ($5.5 billion), Bulls ($3.65 billion) and Celtics ($3.55 billion). Despite remaining competitive and making it to the NBA Finals this past season, the Celtics have dropped a couple of spots on this list over the years. It can happen.
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