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Which Advertisers Are Most Exposed in the NBA Lockout?

T-Mobile and Others Will Miss League More as Winter Turns to Spring

By Published on .

Charles Barkley and Dwyane Wade in a T-Mobile commercial.
Charles Barkley and Dwyane Wade in a T-Mobile commercial.

With the NBA players dissolving their union and suing the league this week, an entire lost season seems more possible than ever.

Marketers have been planning for this scenario for months, and networks insist they'll be able to keep committed ad dollars in-house by shifting money to other programming.

But advertisers spent about $800 million on airtime last season, with more than half of that going to the playoffs. And when winter turns to spring without games in sight, it will get harder to make up those ratings points.

Here are the top NBA ad spenders from last season, according to Kantar Media -- and presumably the ones who will be most exposed as the NBA lockout drags on.

# Marketer NBA Ad Spending Oct 2010-June 2011
1 Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile) 30,064
2 Yum Brands 29,232
3 General Motors Co. 25,419
4 Sony Corp. 24,848
5 Time Warner 23,000
6 National Basketball Association 20,389
7 Kia Motors Corp. 19,605
8 Ford Motor Co. 18,146
9 SABMiller (MillerCoors) 17,866
10 Comcast Corp. 17,613
11 McDonald's Corp. 16,065
12 Chrysler Corp. 15,768
13 Toyota Motor Corp. 15,279
14 U.S. Government* 14,656
15 Honda Motor Co. 14,195
16 Apple 13,486
17 PepsiCo 13,023
18 Berkshire Hathaway (mostly Geico) 12,366
19 Verizon Communications 11,739
20 Heineken 11,582
21 AT&T 11,154
22 Mazda Motor Corp. 10,663
23 Walt Disney Co. 10,525
24 News Corp. 10,095
25 Anheuser-Busch InBev 10,022

Measured media spending includes pre-game, All-Star game and playoffs. Dollars in thousands. Source: Kantar Media.

* U.S. Government spending includes $8.5 million by the Dept. of Defense and $5.7 million by the U.S. Postal Service.

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