Once again, content is king
If you visit NBA.com or any of the 30 teams' websites, there is a steady stream of content - game highlights, recaps, analysis, blogs, articles, among others. You can even pay to watch one game, all 82 games of your favourite team, or the entire NBA teams and each of the games, plus the NBA playoffs. The concept is to allocate a large budget to content generation, and make sure that this content engages with your audience long-term.
Instill brand consciousness
The NBA isn't just about game, with its philanthropic arm NBA Cares getting involved in social and community work, and its players and coaches vocal about political and social issues. Oh, and they are racially-diverse too, which is a reflection of the league's positive diversity. They don't just do this for show - they do this because they want to be steps ahead, and they know they can make an impact using the game of basketball as a medium.
The NBA has always been relevant, and when you think of basketball on its own, you think of Kobe or MJ or LeBron, or more recently, Curry. The conversation about basketball would always start with one of these guys. Their relevance even created spinoff brands too - Air Jordan, Black Mamba, The King, Greek Freak, Big Fundamental, to name a few.