DATA REPORT: NBA Finals 5-Year Cost Trend Analysis

It’s game time! We’re right in the middle of the 2018 NBA Finals, where teams are competing in a series of best-of-seven games to determine who will be crowned the ultimate champion. In the midst of all the viewing parties and excitement, the SQAD Data Team took a dive into the upfront data for the games to analyze cost trends from the past several years.

5-Year Upfront Unit Cost Trends

 

2018 vs. 2014

Comparing 2018* to 2014, upfront unit costs for the NBA Final Games have increased across the board. The SQAD Data Team analyzed five years of upfront cost trends for the first five games of the NBA Finals.

Looking at ad prices for the games during this year against prices in 2014, upfront unit costs have experienced the following increases:

  • Game 1: 62%
  • Game 2: 42%
  • Game 3: 46%
  • Game 4: 48%
  • Game 5: 58%

The price for ads during Game 1 have seen the biggest jump, from an average of $429,011 – $510,155 in 2014 to $690,909 – $829,577 in 2018.

2018 vs. 2017

We also see increases for all five games when comparing this year’s games to last year’s. The cost to advertise this year is higher than 2017 by the following percentages:

  • Game 1: 53%

  • Game 2: 26%

  • Game 3: 27%

  • Game 4: 20%

  • Game 5: 27%

Again, the price for ads during Game 1 have jumped the most, from an average of $454,276 – $542,708 last year to $690,909 – $829,577 this year.

The following table breaks down the range of low and high ad costs from five years of the NBA Final Games.

2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Low High Low High Low High Low High Low High
Game 1 $429,011 $510,155 $455,714 $538,426 $464,936 $557,014 $454,276 $542,708 $690,909 $829,577
Game 2 $434,258 $516,394 $432,719 $511,257 $452,202 $541,758 $490,356 $585,812 $614,139 $737,399
Game 3 $424,925 $505,297 $441,121 $521,185 $520,628 $623,736 $487,842 $582,808 $616,238 $739,920
Game 4 $414,972 $493,460 $419,444 $495,574 $458,911 $549,795 $510,960 $610,426 $609,196 $731,464
Game 5 $434,925 $517,187 $410,998 $485,594 $521,716 $625,038 $538,400 $643,208 $682,804 $819,846
*These are preliminary numbers as of June 5, 2018 – contributing advertisers are still in the process of inputting transaction buys to the SQAD MediaCosts: National system.