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  • Writer's pictureDenis Green

Mailman Launches NBA Red Card 2019


For the third year in a row, Mailman has produced a comprehensive analysis on the digital performance of NBA teams, players, and legends online in China.

The​ ​NBA​ ​Red​ ​Card​ report analyses​ ​the influence​ ​of​ ​the​ ​National Basketball Association (NBA) online​ ​in​ ​China.​ ​The​ ​NBA​ ​Red​ ​Card follows​ ​the​ ​globally​-​recognised​ ​Red​ ​Card​ ​report,​ ​the​ ​industry​ ​standard​ ​for​ ​ranking​ ​European​ ​football organisations​’ ​online​ ​performance​ ​in​ ​China.

The Winners:

Golden State Warriors retain title as #1 team online

Jeremy Lin most popular current basketball player

Kobe Bryant is the #1 NBA Legend

The NBA Red Card 2019 report measures the influence of the NBA teams and players online in China across 6 different metrics. Outside of this, the report also undertakes a case study of NBA teams China Strategy and how dedication to the market impact popularity.

Top​ ​Five​ Teams:

Golden State Warriors

Houston Rockets

LA Lakers

Toronto Raptors

Boston Celtics 

NBA teams online are stronger than ever in China. This past season, NBA teams gained a cumulative 47 million new followers, around 2x more than last season. Despite the total growth, there is a clearly-established top tier through the 'Big 3': the Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers all scored significantly higher than the rest of the teams across all digital metrics.

Top​ ​5​ ​Current Basketball​ Stars​:

Jeremy Lin

Stephen Curry

Klay Thompson

Russell Westbrook

Chris Paul

For the second consecutive year, Jeremy Lin is the most popular NBA player in China. He is the most followed basketball star online with a combined 12.5 million followers on Weibo and Douyin, as well as having the highest average engagement. Many argue globally that ‘Linsanity’ is over, however, the data shows it still lives on strongly in China.

Top 5 Legends:

Kobe Bryant

Dwyane Wade 

Stephon Marbury 

Tracy McGrady

Shaquille O'Neal

Kobe Bryant has most followed Weibo account of any basketball player online in China, surpassing NBA Red Card winner Jeremy Lin. 

Andrew Collins, CEO of Mailman: “The NBA is doing a great job in China to grow the sport from the grassroots and in the communities. Teams and players are taking back control and establishing an online presence, while the recent sponsorship opening announcement will give teams more autonomy from the league. Congratulations to the winners of this year’s Red Card and to all the stakeholders helping to deliver value to China’s basketball economy”.

Report​ ​Methodology

The NBA teams, players and legends were assessed across the following metrics:

Weibo followers

Weibo follower growth

Weibo engagement

Douyin followers

Douyin engagement

Toutiao followers

The full methodology is available upon request. 

The full report can be downloaded here

About​ ​Mailman

Mailman is a global sports digital marketing agency and consultancy. We have a team of 200+ experts helping global organisations, rights holders, athletes, and brands build a successful business across China, Europe, the US, and Southeast Asia.


Contact​ ​Information:

Denis Green

+86 16602182243

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