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NBA score TikTok engagement despite Trump's vow to ban app

The National Basketball Association's (NBA) big names are becoming stars of the world’s fastest growing social media app as the basketball league leads the way in engagement, posts, views and followers among any sport organisations.

The basketball association has delivered their unique content with three times as many posts as their nearest counterparts, the Major League Baseball (MLB) and four times as many as third highest Atletico Madrid.

With 60% of TikTok’s audience being under the age of 30, there is becoming a large desire for sport organisations to use the app to engage its younger fan base.

The National Football League (NFL) have recently signed a two-year partnership deal ahead of its centenary season which also sees the launch of the official NFL account on the platform.

Until now, athletes and sports organisations have been tentative in their TikTok usage, favouring the more traditional networks, Twitter and Instagram for fan engagement. This has paved the way for the NBA to make gains on their rival sport organisations with engaging the more youthful TikTok audience.

Consumer brands are using the Chinese video-sharing app for engagement rather than the revenue or exposure gained from adverts. According to analytics platform, Hookit, sports teams have around six to seven times more followers on Instagram, while the average number of views per post are 20 per cent higher on TikTok. This means that there is a far higher likelihood of a viral post on TikTok and has allowed runaway success for the NBA.

The hits scored by the NBA on the highly politicised TikTok come as President Trump threatened to ban the app as US officials are concerned that data collected by the app may be passed on to the Chinese government.

In August, TikTok filed a lawsuit against the US government following The President’s executive order to ban the app. Despite the app’s young audience, it is software giants Microsoft and Oracle who have been the unlikely suitors in line to find a deal with the Chinese tech company.

On September 14, Microsoft had its offer to purchase all US operations of TikTok rejected, leaving Oracle in pole position for an eleventh hour acquisition of the video sharing app from ByteDance.

Author: Charlie Farmer