Giannis Antetokounmpo # 34 of the Milwaukee Bucks celebrates during the sixth game of the 2021 NBA Finals on July 20, 2021 at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Copyright 2021 NBAE.
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The final game of the National Basketball Association’s final series, featuring the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns, drew 12.5 million viewers on Tuesday, 50% more than compared to Game 6 of the 2020 Series, which was played in October due to the Covid pandemic. Overall, however, the series still drew fewer viewers than the previous three NBA finals played before the pandemic.
The Bucks beat the Suns 105-98 in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, winning their first title in 50 years. Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo won the NBA Finals MVP after scoring 50 points and 14 rebounds, leading the team to its first championship since 1971.
The competition peaked at 11:00 p.m. with 16.5 million viewers. Eastern Time Hour, and the series averaged 9.9 million viewers. That’s 32 percent more than the 2020 NBA finals series with the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat and no spectators. This six-game series was played due to the October pandemic and averaged 7.5 million viewers, a 51% decrease from the 2019 series.
The NBA final usually takes place in June, and league officials note that July is the worst time of year for PUT scores (people who use televisions).
Still, the 2021 series helped the league recover from a drop in viewership when Game 1 drew 8.5 million viewers for two smaller market clubs. That was 13% more than last year, and Game 2 was up 41%, peaking at around 11 million viewers.
The Bucks-Suns series averaged 9.3 million viewers in the first four games and 9.5 million for game 5, which was played last Saturday. The last time a final game was played on a Saturday was in 1981. In the media, some pondered why the NBA was not planning a Sunday slot, believing that the day would generate more viewers.
The NBA final was last played in June 2019, when the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors drew 13.3 million viewers for Game 1 of the series. The six-game set reached an average of 15.1 million viewers. The 2018 series (Golden State Warriors-Cleveland Cavaliers), which featured the NBA’s biggest stars in LeBron James and Steph Curry, averaged 17.6 million in four games. And the five-game series in 2017, including the same two teams, averaged 20.4 million viewers.
The 2021 NBA Final marked the first time in 10 years that the league had played its championship series without James or Curry being involved.
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – JULY 20: Giannis Antetokounmpo # 34 of the Milwaukee Bucks celebrates winning the Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP award after defeating the Phoenix Suns in game six at the 2021 NBA Finals at the Fiserv Forum on July 20 2021 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: The user expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and / or using this photo, the user is agreeing to the terms of the Getty Images license agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images)
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But with the Bucks win – overcoming a 0-2 series hole – and Antetokounmpo’s performance in Game 6, it is expected that his brand stake in the NBA will grow similarly to Curry’s. A media manager noted that Curry’s performance in the 2015 NBA Finals – his first championship – helped his brand and helped increase the Warriors’ popularity in the NBA.
Antetokounmpo, 26, averaged 35.2 points and 13.2 rebounds on the series against the Suns, and his character and personality were shown after the game, including an emotional moment after the Bucks won. This could affect Antetokounmpo’s future Q-Score, a metric used by marketers to determine athlete popularity and liking.
“He’s still proving to be a very likeable type,” said branding and marketing expert Scott Rosner. “You combine that quality with incredible ability and show it during the finals at a level we rarely see and overcome adversity with the knee injury, the story just fits together perfectly.”
Rosner, a professor of sports management at Columbia University, said Antetokounmpo is more likely to be exposed to casual NBA fans. This should help improve its marketability for companies looking to expand their advertising list.
Antetokounmpo supports companies including Nike and has a stake in the sports drinks company Ready Nutrition. According to Forbes, Antetokounmpo makes around $ 25 million from sponsorship deals and adds that money to its league high $ 45 million (Average salary.
When asked what marketers will see in Antetokounmpo after winning the NBA Finals, Rosner said, “A citizen of the world, a great personality, a 10,000 watt smile and an athlete who can do things seldom seen at the highest level in the world greatest moment; it’s a pretty magical formula.
“But you have to do it again,” added Rosner. “Do it all over again or come closer and keep the level of the game very high. Repeating will help.”