The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a league widely known across the globe. With a business as large as the NBA, social media plays an important role to keep fans of basketball and the league excited and updated with the latest news.
As of press time, the NBA has an official fan page on Facebook that has 10,861,730 fans and an official Twitter account with 3,251,367 followers, pointing out that the league is a social media giant in sports. In terms of respective followers, likes and views on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, the NBA is currently at the top of the social media sphere, dwarfing other professional sports organizations such as the UFC (a distant second), NFL, NHL and MLB.
NBA Commissioner David Stern has stated that social media marketing is very important for the league to connect with the fans. He even referred to it as a "digital watercooler," a space where friends, fans and followers can discuss and exchange views about the NBA. Inline with this, NBA VP of Marketing Melissa Rosenthal Brenner explained that "social media has changed the way we communicate, even on a very basic level."
Since social media is a big factor in the NBA’s day-to-day operations, the organization has a social media team responsible for feeding fans exactly what’s goes on behind the scenes, on and off the court. Whether they are videos of a player’s interview, a phone snapshot of a player shooting a basketball, a coach preparing the game plan inside the locker room or a team huddling before the start of the game. For hardcore basketball fans, this offers them a glimpse of the sights and sounds of the NBA game experience.
Last NBA Playoffs, most topics that circulated in social media and online conversations were about the Dallas Mavericks’ pursuit of their first NBA championship, the ‘Big Three’ of the Miami Heat, the last season of Phil Jackson and the uprising of the young Chicago Bulls.
Aside from the NBA organization, the players have also become openly involved with social media. Almost half of the NBA's players are on Twitter, including most of the league’s biggest superstars-- Lebron James, Dwight Howard, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Durant and Chris Paul. In a report, Shaquille O'Neal and Steve Nash were both named among Time magazine's top Twitter feeds.
The NBA has made it their goal to give fans greater access and supplement what they're getting from the broadcast, online advertising, other media and various apps as the organization experiences unprecedented growth across the different social media platforms. They understand that the sport is being watched worldwide and should take advantage of this by keeping fans engaged throughout the season, especially leading up to the big moments in the Playoffs where games are of great magnitude.
For more information about social media, visit the Moonlight Marketing Blog.