The Role of TikTok Advertising Within Sports Organizations

By: Peyton Wolfe

The newest social media platform that ignited during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic is TikTok. Which is a platform where you can post short videos including genres like genres like dance, comedy, and education, that have a duration from three seconds to one minute. Because it is the newest platform sports organizations are just starting to dip their toe into the newest market of advertising that is the key to engaging with the next generation of sports fans.  Which is vital in today’s society seeing as everything is becoming virtual due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

One of the first organizations to tap the network of TikTok was the National Basketball Association (NBA) they first started by inviting stars of the app to the annual slam dunk contest which is a part of the NBA All-Star Weekend.  After looking through data “The NBA’s following of 11.7 million is twice as large as any other sports league or team’s”(Badenhausen) proving that they are the true leader of TikTok. They are currently leading the all other professional sports organizations in various categories like engagement, videos liked, and videos viewed which is broken down with graphics with the Forbes article I cited. 

However, the National Football League (NFL) is not far behind there with their TikTok campaign. Just this year for the Super Bowl they hosted a virtual “TikTok Tailgate” even having singer Miley Cyrus perform. The data on the NFL accounts prove “official league account has 6 million followers, while 30 of 32 teams have a presence”(Koeshartanto) which is lower than the NBA. They also have taken this opportunity to truly attract younger audiences such as “the Football Bros, a pair of middle school aged best friends and influencers with 2.3 million” (Cooper) which have done videos with and through the NFL account.  Overall  the NFL is trying countless ways to catch up to the NBA by having various NFL stars do takeovers or posting content that is not on their other accounts. 

In conclusion, I believe that TikTok is the next biggest platform and I believe this is important for the new generation of Public Relations employees because it really shows how you can control the narrative of the organization. Such as the fact that “the user base represents a huge potential fan base that’s typically hard to reach and extremely desirable for most sports brands” (5 Ways) which just proves even more how untapped this new era entering the market is.

Work Cited

Koeshartanto, M. (2021, February 10). Value of TikTok for sports Teams, Brands. Retrieved February 16, 2021, from

5 ways TikTok Boosts sports fan engagement. (2020, July 14). Retrieved February 16, 2021, from

Badenhausen, K. (2020, September 10). NBA cracks The TIKTOK code As u.s. takes aim At world’s hottest media app. Retrieved February 16, 2021, from

Cooper, M. (2021, January 31). How the NFL USED TIKTOK to Build Authentic FAN Connections: Digital. Retrieved February 16, 2021, from 

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