BLOG | by Victor Gras

Making the NBA re-start cut is no guarantee that a team is being talked about

With the restart of the NBA just a few days away, we thought we’d look at which teams are generating the most chatter among fans.

In the table below, you can see the current top-ten ranking of teams for our Word of Mouth metric from our YouGov TeamIndex tool. YouGov TeamIndex tracks every major league team every day and this data compares the sample taken over the month of July to that of June.

Click on Table to view larger image

The data shows how the Lakers are the most talked-about team in July so far, beating the Bulls into second place. Much of fans’ talk will have been driven by teams’ preparations for the re-start but with the Bulls not included in the end-of-season tournament, it’s a surprise to even see them in the top ten, let alone so close to first place.

But inclusion in the remaining games doesn’t appear to be the dominant factor in whether teams are getting talked about right now. Neither the Cavs, the Warriors nor the Hawks will be playing in the remaining games this summer, yet they all feature in the top ten right now.

In fact, there are quite a number of teams playing in the end-of-season games who don’t even make it into the top 20. Step forward (or perhaps fade into the background), the Bucks, the Nuggets, the Heat, the Rockets, the Pacers, the Grizzlies, the Pelicans and the Suns – all of whom must have to work hard to become part of the conversation in 2020.

The biggest movers in our ranking are the Washington Wizards, who climb a remarkable 24 places to find themselves in third place. Since the Wizards are far from favorites for the Championship, is that rise for other reasons, like their double COVID-19 diagnosis in the team a couple of weeks ago – or maybe even their defensive record?

But the Hawks and the Kings also pick up places, the latter perhaps because of the positive test in their camp in July or Richaun Holmes’ accidental departure from the NBA bubble to pick up food. Both have climbed 13 places compared to their ranking over June.

As the games begin and stories around form and results take over, we’d expect to see even more volatility in these scores over the next month. The big question is will the Lakers finish with the Championship, as well as the number one spot in our ranking?

Photo NBA Media

BLOG | by Victor Gras

Head of Client Services

Joining YouGov Sport in March 2018, Victor brings seven years of global sports sponsorship expertise. In his last role, he led Nielsen’s Market Intelligence activity across all US verticals, working with brands, rights holders and agency clients. He also worked previously with the New York Road Runners, where he helped TCS launch the title partnership of the NYC Marathon, as well as with the ASO, optimizing sponsorship strategies for the Tour de France and the Paris Marathon.


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