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Published on April 22, 2024
Victor Wembanyama's Rise Boosts San Antonio Spurs Viewership, Spurs NBA App's Most-Watched Team This SeasonSource: Wikipedia/Thomas S, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It's official: Victor Wembanyama's star power is skyrocketing NBA viewership across the globe, with a particularly explosive boost in the heart of Texas. According to reports, the San Antonio Spurs have taken the lead in the most significant leap in viewership on the NBA App during the 2023-24 season. KENS 5, a local San Antonio news outlet, highlighted this "Wemby effect," crediting the French phenom for the Spurs' No. 1 spot above teams like the Pacers, Rockets, and Clippers.

Wembanyama's flair isn't just a local sensation—his impact is felt abroad. In France, his home country, NBA viewership ranks No. 9. His rookie jersey is also in high demand, trailing only veterans like Stephen Curry, LeBron James, and Jayson Tatum, landing at No. 4 for top-selling NBA jerseys. Spurs fans aren't just watching games; they're buying merchandise too, boosting the team to No. 9 in team sales, as reported by KENS 5.

But the "Wemby effect" isn't the only story here. In Africa, the NBA isn't just dribbling; it's dunking with incredible force in viewership and engagement growth. The continent has seen a 41% jump in average viewership from live game telecasts, accumulating nearly 6 million total watch hours. According to the NBA Africa newsroom, localized social media accounts are booming, with a 20% increase in followers year-over-year. Meanwhile, views on the NBA Africa YouTube channel have more than tripled due to the success of the All-Star Africa Takeover campaign.

In the merch department, Wembanyama shares the spotlight with Giannis Antetokounmpo, who also has African ties. Both players rank among the most-viewed globally on NBA social platforms—Wembanyama with a stunning 1.3 billion views and Antetokounmpo following with 558 million. The launch of NBA Stores in South African cities Cape Town and Durban, complementing the Johannesburg location, has boosted jersey sales by nearly 150%. Additionally, the league's original docu-series "Born & Bred," which tells the story of African student-athletes turned NBA prospects, has garnered over 20,000 views on the NBA App, as announced by NBA Africa.

Numbers don't lie, and neither does talent. With Wembanyama's dunks going viral, and social media buzzing every time he takes the court, it's clear the NBA's reach is extending far beyond American borders, carried on the shoulders of its electric, rising stars.