The NBA officially surpassed 70 million followers on Instagram, making it a top-10 most-followed brand on the platform.
The NBA has more followers than all the other major American sports leagues combined — the NFL (25 million), MLB (8.9 million) and NHL (5.5 million).
Last year, the NBA was the most-viewed and most-engaged pro-sports league on social media, driving 24 billion views and 2.3 billion engagements across all platforms.
And the league continues to grow at a rapid rate, as the NBA added a combined 18 million followers across Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and Facebook in 2021 — the most of any American pro sports league.
Kevin Esteves was hired to be part of the NBA’s digital-content-strategy team back in 2012, and worked his way up to the NBA's associate vice president of digital strategy and analytics. Over the last decade, Esteves has seen a big shift in how the league approaches social media.
“At first, it was a very big marketing platform for us," Esteves told Basketball News. "But now, social drives just about every business objective that we have."