How Brands Can Take Part in the Pickup Basketball Movement on YouTube

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By: Reuben Dongalen Jr.

October 19, 2021

How Brands Can Take Part in the Pickup Basketball Movement on YouTube

Over the past 18 months, trending pickup basketball content on YouTube has evolved in the face of COVID-19 closing down the 2019-2020 NBA season and restricting indoor sports activities. 

Now, an abundance of basketball creators have emerged, earning millions of views on their videos while showcasing their talents through organized pickup basketball games across neighborhood basketball courts, drop-in sessions at local gyms, and amatuer leagues. These creators either jump in with their friends, other creators, or team up with random players to play against locals and homegrown talent in intense and highly-competitive basketball games.

With the rapidly-growing pickup basketball scene on YouTube, combined with culturally-significant tent poles where basketball content is at the forefront and trending upwards, advertisers have an opportunity to influence young sports fans in a unique and authentic way with BBTV’s NBA Playmakers network.

Millions of Young Fans Are Watching Pickup Basketball On YouTube

Pickup basketball has intrigued millions of sports fans across the globe because of its unfiltered nature. The creator is filmed playing the game while being mic’d up for viewers to hear their every word, groan and reaction. From a game-winning shot to intense moments between two opposing players, the tension is captured, making it feel real, up-close and personal for viewers.

In fact, just a few of the internet’s biggest basketball creators such as D’Vontay Friga, Jenna Bandy, Chris Staples, Kris London, JLawBball, Tristan Jass, and INTHELAB have incorporated these elements within their content. Altogether, they’ve amassed over a hundred million views and over seven million subscribers, and account for just a handful of the creators within the NBA Playmakers network. 

Pickup basketball is typically known as a hobby, a chance to sweat, and for a select few, a chance to work on their skills. Now, it has become a window of opportunity to earn income and generate influence similar to professional athletes at the highest levels of competition.

Both viewers and creators are intrigued by pickup basketball content on YouTube because they are watching and creating videos that look and feel attainable.

YouTube’s biggest basketball players have earned their names and built a significant amount of influence over young sports fans. In fact, fans are showing up in flocks and tuning in to their favorite basketball YouTubers live in action. Some creators have even gained enough traction to collaborate on special content with some of the world’s biggest celebrities like Drake.

Through organic co-creation of content and branded opportunities, the value of partnering with YouTube’s top basketball players lies both in their live presence at neighborhood courts, and online where millions of fans are tuning in.

Extending Your Campaigns Organically With Basketball Content On YouTube

Basketball content on YouTube possesses its own culture that noteworthy creators and ball brands embrace: responding to one another’s content through reaction videos. Viewers are interested in seeing what their favorite ballers say about other players, often resulting in the creators engaging online and collaborating on video content. Through the cycle of reaction videos, advertisers can engage a wider range of viewers by tapping into the audiences of different creators, extending the life of their brand campaigns and aligning with top trending content that Gen Z and Millennials are engaged with right now.

One video can branch off organically to several more and generate storylines for future concepts such as rematch videos and must-see moments. For example, two of the top basketball creators online, D’Vontay Friga and TheHeziGod, played 1-on-1 for the very first time. This generated significant traction as creators posted their reactions to the highly anticipated matchup, which was only available exclusively via the Creator Classic pay-per-view event. INTHELAB, a notable NBA Playmakers creator who has trained with some of the NBA’s stars, recently organized the event which included several of YouTube’s biggest basketball stars and NBA Playmakers.

The creativity of events such as the Creator Classic prove that there’s a clear path for brands to harness this influence and become an organic part of the conversation rather than play catch up later. 

Partner With Top Basketball YouTubers Through NBA Playmakers

The NBA Playmakers network is the culmination of BBTV’s decade-long partnership with the NBA. It’s also home to some of the most influential basketball talent on YouTube. With trending content and highly engaged fans, NBA Playmakers are the perfect entrypoint for brands looking to target young sports fans with content that represents their key interests, such as pickup basketball. In fact, creators within the NBA Playmakers’ network reach over hundreds of millions of views and are at the forefront of the trend. 

Marketers can get in the game by aligning their campaigns with NBA Playmakers talent. BBTV’s Ad Solutions offers robust targeting capabilities, custom content, brand integrations, and influencer marketing campaigns, so your campaign can be customized every step of the way. From contextual targeting and video sponsorships to conventional targeting, BBTV provides marketers with solutions to maximize brand campaigns and produce on-trend storytelling while aligning with brand safe content.

Connect with BBTV Ad Solutions to learn how you can integrate your brand within influential basketball content on YouTube for your next campaign. 

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