Sponsorship News

NBL sets new records in 2017-18 season

04 April 2018 1:31pm

The National Basketball League has set a new attendance record for its grand final series, on top of strong growth in both broadcast and match attendance through the 2017-18 season. The League also added some key new sponsors during the season.

NBL chief executive Jeremy Loeliger said that the five-game finals series between the Adelaide 36ers and Melbourne United attracted 44,260 fans, an increase of 1.5% on the previous record set back in 1992.

[Loeliger will provide the full background on how the NBL's innovative approach to partnerships and fan engagement paid off for the organisation at next month's Sponsorship News Conference in Melbourne – get your tickets now]

The strong ratings for the finals series helped propel the NBL to its highest-ever total attendance record, with overall crowds up 5% to 762,871. It marks a second-straight year of record growth, after the 2016-17 season saw attendances rise 14%.

The NBL's average attendance in 2017-18 was 6,305, led by several franchises that set new records during the season. Melbourne United became the first-ever Melbourne-based NBL team to play in front of 150,000 fans across one season, while Perth and Adelaide crowds were up 11% and 5% respectively.

Loeliger added that total TV viewers across Fox Sports, SBS and ABC broadcasts increased by 43%, to 3.4 million. Cumulative reach increased 50% to 17 million.

"This is another key indicator of the popularity of the NBL and shows we have a world-class product that will build its audience in the seasons to come," he said.

The positive metrics come at a good time for the NBL with its high-powered new advisory board, led by ex-AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou, looking to lock in a new broadcast deal and competition expansion.

Loeliger also pointed to major new partnerships with Hungry Jack's and Kmart, the launch of the modified-format 3x3 Hustle and collaborations with the Australian Open and US NBA as key achievements in 2017-18.

In the basketball off-season major events promoter TEG will also host two games between the Australian and US men's basketball teams. More than 55,000 people registered for the ticket wait-list in the first 24 hours after the event's announcement, with TEG forecasting a 100,000-person sell-out.

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