SBD/Issue 181/Sports Media

NBA Testing New Social Media Outlets During Celtics-Lakers

The NBA for the Celtics-Lakers Finals is implementing several test expansions of its social media presence, seeking to build upon already robust followings on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Among the new initiatives include a Facebook-based version of its online NBA Store, created in partnership with California-based developer Milyoni Inc., and new NBA destinations within social media hubs Foursquare, Gowalla and SayNow. Foursquare and Gowalla are both location-based social networking sites where fans can receive virtual badges or passport stamps by congregating within dedicated Finals-specific areas created for those destinations. SayNow, meanwhile, uses voice messaging for interaction, and NBA players will record personal messages during the Finals that can be accessed within SayNow or via Twitter and Facebook. The efforts in large part represent a test for potentially broader implementations on the platforms for the '10-11 season. To that end, the new destinations are not yet revenue generators. NBA VP/Marketing Melissa Brenner: "We're looking to be as nimble as possible and set up opportunities wherever we can. Our fans are there in these places, and we want to be there with them. So we're looking to learn a lot and once we have proven success stories, we'll look to bring in our (corporate) partners." The NBA, along with its individual teams and players, now has more than 38 million combined followers on Twitter and Facebook.

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