The National Football League remains the most dominant pro sport in the U.S.—but the National Basketball Association is beating it when it comes to younger generations, according to a new poll.
Fifty-three percent of Gen Zers and 68% of millennials are NBA fans, compared with 49% and 66%, respectively, for the NFL, according to the latest Ad Age-Harris Poll. Pro football remains a baby boomer obsession, with 60% of respondents from the generation describing themselves as NFL fans, compared with 40% for the NBA. The NFL also has a commanding lead with Gen Xers—by a score of 66% to 44%. Overall, 61% of Americans are NFL fans, compared with 50% for the NBA, according to the poll, which surveyed 1,012 U.S. adults from July 16-19.
The NBA has long been considered the most progressive pro sort, a standing that helps the league with younger generations that polls have shown back brands that take stances on social causes. Still, there is one area where the NBA might be falling short—its logo.
Among NBA fans, 56% say the league should update its logo to feature a silhouette of a Black player, according to findings the Harris Poll made based on separate surveys conducted in April and March.
The current logo features what has long been considered a silhouette of Jerry West, the Los Angeles Lakers legend whose career ended in the early 1970s. The trademark was created in 1969 by brand consultant Alan Siegel, who made it a year after designing Major League Baseball’s logo, according to this account in Sbnation. The NBA has never officially acknowledged that it is based on West.
The league earlier this year faced pressure to update its look in wake of comments made by Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving, who pushed the NBA to swap West with the late Kobe Bryant.
"As a native Black man, as a native Black king, I think it's part of my responsibility to continue to push our generation, our culture, forward," Irving said, according to this account from CBS News. "I know that it probably was met with some people that love the idea and some people that don't like it." He added: "My thing is paying homage to the example that has been set by that man ... He was the standard for our generation and he will continue on," he added. Irving’s Instagram post imagining Bryant in the logo has drawn more than one million likes since it was posted in February.