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The NBA bubble

(Maps viewable on desktop only)


We've applied our narrative analytics tools to interpret what the Twittersphere has to say about the NBA bubble.  Based on a sample of  8,217 Tweets, our tool came up with 27 narrative themes, each appearning on the map below.

Each dot on the below map represents a Tweet.   Hover your cursor over the dots to read the underlying statement for each.  The map reveals some narratives that reflect the unque impact of the Bubble on the NBA brand:  From Jimmy Butler's run in the coffee business to the importance of social justice.  The broader narrative about the NBA bubble being a model for others to follow is a great reflection on the league.

"Doing it right": an emerging meta-narrative

Our deep learning tools arrange each narrative theme into broader classifications or 'meta-narratives.'  Outlined below, 3 of the 4 meta narratives (players, competition, and stories) have always been fundamental to the NBA brand.  With a successful finish to the bubble season, and a clear committment to social justice as well as the wellbeing of the NBA community, "doing it right" has emerged as a key theme. The emergence of this narrative is a positive, though it will come with expectations from the wider community of NBA fans. Understanding/tracking the drivers within this meta narrative - and demonstrating consistent convictions within it  - will be important in sustaining the reputational momentum of a successful bubble season.

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Tracking influence (likes/favorites) per narrative

Which narrative terms get the most traction?  The below chart shows the breakdown of likes given on Twitter within 5 of the largest narrative themes.  The chart shows that 'player portraits' earn more likes than other narratives:  20% of them earn more than 55 likes.  The justice narrative, reflecting on social justice and movements like Black Lives Matter, came in second in terms of earned likes.  Consistent with the findings above, this suggests that social justice is becoming an important part of how fans define the NBA brand.

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