The Most Valuable NBA brands of 2022

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a basketball in the middle of a court. Game between two NBA brands

Basketball is a beloved sport around the world, and the National Basketball Association (NBA) is the premier league for this sport worldwide. In fact the teams that make up the NBA brands are followed all around the globe, and not just in the US.

Actually, in the United States, basketball is the second-most popular sport, with 29% of the population following it. 

However, the NBA has a much broader reach, with fans in countries across the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. 

The NBA is also the most followed league among American sports fans, with 85% following it, just ahead of the National Football League (NFL) at 82%. 

In this article, we will delve into the popularity of basketball and specifically the NBA brands (teams that make up the league), and the factors that drive fans to follow the sport and league. We will also look at the most valuable and popular teams in the NBA and their brand valuation.

Why is the NBA the most followed league?

So, what drives fans to follow basketball and the NBA? 

According to a recent market research study by Brand Directory, image attributes such as “has world class clubs/teams” and “has world class players” are two key factors that attract fans to the league. 

The NBA also has a strong brand presence, with a number of teams ranking highly in terms of brand value. Brand Finance has individually valued each NBA team, the first time that a brand valuation has been publicly applied to NBA teams in accordance with international standards. 

Which NBA Team has the Most Valuable Brand?

The Golden State Warriors have the most valuable NBA brand in the league, worth $712 million.

The team’s success on the court, including several championships and a number of NBA records, has contributed to a positive brand perception and a strong brand value. 

The Warriors’ brand strength rating is similar to the likes of McDonalds and PayPal.

The Los Angeles Lakers, with a brand value of $693 million, are in second place. The Lakers have a large and loyal fanbase and have invested heavily in marketing and merchandising opportunities. 

The LA Lakers are also associated with a range of global superstars, including Magic Johnson, LeBron James, and the late Kobe Bryant. 

The New York Knicks, with a brand value of $332 million, are in third place in the NBA brands value rankings. However, the Knicks also have the largest following, with 13% of NBA fans stating that the Knicks are their favorite team. 

The Chicago Bulls, with a brand value of $332 million, and the Boston Celtics, with a brand value of $331 million, are in fourth and fifth place, respectively.

Table showing the top ten most valuable NBA brands of 2022

When it comes to which teams are the most popular, the Chicago Bulls lead the way. The Bulls are the most followed NBA team in the United States, with 45% of all NBA fans following them to some degree. Even though they are not among the top 3 NBA brands in terms of valuation, they are still the most popular team in the NBA.

The team’s rich heritage and history, as well as their appreciation of and passion for their fans, are among the attributes most associated with the Bulls. This popularity can be traced back to the team’s dominance in the 1990s, when they won six NBA championships thanks in large part to Michael Jordan. 

The Bulls are ranked fourth in NBA brand value rankings, with a dollar brand value, worth $310 million. 

The Lakers, with a brand value of $693 million, are the second-most popular team, followed by the Knicks, with a brand value of $332 million. 

The Warriors, with a brand value of $712 million, and the Celtics, with a brand value of $331 million, round out the top five.

NBA Brands Recognition Efforts

The NBA has been investing heavily in marketing and merchandising efforts in order to engage with fans and build a strong brand. This includes partnerships with various companies and sponsorships, as well as the development of official NBA merchandise, such as jerseys and other apparel. 

The NBA has also embraced new technology, including the use of social media platforms and streaming services, to reach and connect with fans around the world.

Another factor that sets the NBA apart from other sports leagues is the presence of global superstars. These players not only excel on the court, but they also have a strong presence off the court, with many having endorsement deals and other business ventures. 

LeBron James, for example, is not only one of the greatest basketball players of all time, but he is also a successful entrepreneur and philanthropist. The popularity of these players can also drive fan engagement and interest in the league.

Conclusion and Summary

Basketball and the NBA are popular sports around the world, with a broad reach and dedicated fan base. The presence of world-class clubs and players, as well as strong marketing and merchandising efforts, contribute to the league’s popularity. 

The most valuable and popular teams in the NBA, including the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, and Chicago Bulls, have strong brand values and a loyal following. 

Understanding the factors that drive fans to follow basketball and the NBA can help teams and the league continue to engage with and grow their fan base.

For more Brand valuation rankings check out our site’s Brand section.


I am a branding and naming consultant with 16 years of experience. I believe in building a strong brand name that identifies your visions and that of your business. A brand identity motivates you and your team to achieve success.