Advertisers Line Up for NBA Games on Christmas Day

Memphis Grizzlies at Golden State Warriors in 2022 NBA play-in game
(Image credit: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

More than 60 brands will be in the lineup as The Walt Disney Co. presents five National Basketball Association games on ABC and ESPN Christmas Day.

State Farm returns as the NBA Christmas Day presenting sponsor for all five games, which will be simulcast on broadcast and cable. NBA player Boban Marjanovic stars in State Farm’s latest commercials and will appear as an announcer in the second quarter of an alternative telecasts of the noon Philadelphia-New York game hosted by Stephen A. Smith. The Smithcast is presented by Cricket.

NBA Countdown is presented by DraftKings Sportsbook and Toyota is the halftime sponsor for the noon and 10:30 p.m. ET games.

Other brands advertising during the games are Energizer, Papa Johns, Caesars, Universal Pictures, LVMH, Adidas, Hilton, New Balance, Under Armour, Coinbase, Coca-Cola, Netflix, Lionsgate, Adobe, Rakuten, Burger King, Paramount and Bacardi.

Additionally, NBA official sponsors NBA2K, DraftKings Sportsbook, Google Pixel and Meta Quest will all have in-game integrations across ESPN’s Christmas Day slate.

With Christmas falling on Sunday, the big NBA slate will be facing formidable competition from the National Football League.

“NBA Christmas Day has always been a tentpole event for Disney and we are thrilled to have so many brands see such great results from advertising on our networks,” Danielle Brown, senior VP, Disney Advertising Data Enablement & Category Strategy, said. “Year after year, Christmas Day with the NBA proves to provide engagement from viewers that exceeds expectations and demonstrates that we are the ideal place for all advertising categories.” 

Disney Ad Sales points to research showing that sponsoring NBA telecasts is a slam dunk for marketers.

According to research and analytics company EDO, viewers who saw State Farm ads on Christmas Day last year were 99% more likely to engage online with State Farm than viewers who saw the insurance company’s ads on other networks.

EDO also found that viewers were 72% more likely to search for Toyota after an airing during the NBA 2022-23 regular season compared to ads in other programming. ■

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.