SBD/Issue 32/NBA Season Preview

NBA Outpaces NFL, MLB With Most Facebook, Twitter Followers

The NBA “has more than 6.7 million combined Facebook fans and Twitter followers, slam-dunking the almighty NFL’s 2.5 million and absolutely posterizing” MLB’s 1.1 million, according to Patrick Sauer of FAST COMPANY. The NBA “allows individual teams freedom to create their own programs and web content, while the other leagues dictate a centralized policy.” The NBA estimates that it has “more than 54 million online fans.” Pushing "content consumption is, of course, a key part of the operation." The league’s Facebook "prowess drove fans to watch more than a billion videos at nba.com" last season, a 45% increase over the year before. Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban said, “The NBA is ahead of other sports leagues because our players are smart and understand the value of social media, and the league has been able to leverage that.” The chart below lists the “Five Most Socially Savvy NBA Teams” (FAST COMPANY, 11/ '10 issue).

FIVE MOST SOCIALLY SAVVY NBA TEAMS
TEAM
Lakers
The team is the "third-most-popular sports social-media entity in the world, trailing only the NBA and FC Barcelona soccer club."
Suns
The team "offers annual tweetups with players and fans, while its planetorange.net fan site is the envy of the league."
Celtics
The club "added 1.5 million fans on Facebook (and 50,000 e-mail addresses to its database) with the help of its 3-Point Play game, in which fans guess team statistical leaders in scoring, rebounding, and assists."
Cavaliers
The team uses its community site, cavfanatic.com, to "connect and communicate the arena's fan-friendly experience." The team does "tweetstakes" and "blogger shout-outs before most games."
Nets
The club is "up roughly 350% on Facebook and nearly 300% on Twitter as it starts cultivating future fans." The "big score: When mysterious billionaire owner Mikhail Prokhorov ... posts a video."
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