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Study: NBA teams see 22% more engagement from Instagram Reels

20 of basketball league’s 30 franchises have posted using new short-form video format.

18 August 2020 Sam Carp

Getty Images

  • Los Angeles Lakers lead NBA in engagement per Reel
  • Houston Rockets record 6.3m plays across three videos
  • 15-second video format launched by Instagram on 5th August

National Basketball Association (NBA) teams that have taken advantage of Instagram’s new Reels feature are enjoying higher levels of engagement than they do for standard videos posted on the social media platform, according to Conviva.

The streaming media analytics firm said 20 of the league’s 30 franchises posted at least one Reel in the week after the new short-form content format was launched, allowing users to create and share 15-second videos with augmented reality (AR) effects and music.

The engagements per Reel for those teams that used the format was 22 per cent higher on average than the franchise’s average engagements per Instagram video during the same time period, Conviva noted.

The Los Angeles Lakers enjoyed the most engagement per Reel across the NBA, notching over 385,000 engagements and more than four million plays from only one video.

Meanwhile the Houston Rockets led the league in total plays of their Reels, recording over 6.3 million across three videos, which was enough for them to rank second in overall engagement per Reel. 

Joining the Lakers and the Rockets in the top five for engagement per Reel were the Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat.

Reels has been widely described as Instagram’s answer to TikTok, whose parent company ByteDance has been set a 15th September deadline to sell the US arm of its popular Chinese short-form video app to an American company or face being banned in the country.

Speaking to SportsPro about the launch of Reels earlier this month, Dev Sethi, Instagram’s head of sports, said Reels was launched to “create something that really fit the needs of young people”.

He added: “It’s another unique, creative way for those constituents within sports – whether they’re athletes, teams, leagues or media – in creating entertaining short-form content that can reach potential fans and unconnected fans, maybe Instagam users who aren’t aware or haven’t consumed much content from those sports partners.”

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