Spalding adding the NBA's Twitter handle is a first for a U.S. major sports property
The NBA will place its social media @NBA handle on its official Spalding game ball beginning with October's preseason games. This marks the second major cosmetic change to the ball this year after the addition of new Commissioner Adam Silver's signature after he took office in February. The addition of the social media handle on the actual game ball, a first for any major American pro sports property, represents a further effort by the NBA to spotlight the importance of social media to the league. The NBA and its players and teams combine for more than 660 million Twitter followers and Facebook likes around the world. "The game ball is an instantly recognizable symbol of our game. Adding the social media handle to the ball represents our fans and their passion for the game," said NBA Senior VP/Digital Media Melissa Rosenthal Brenner. "We're a global sport, and only a small percentage of our fans get to see a game in person. This reminds us how powerful social media is in helping extend our reach." Retail availability of the new game ball is expected around the holidays, as the NBA will first allow stores to sell through current inventory without the handle. The addition of @NBA to the ball thematically follows many efforts around the league over the last three years to affix social media handles to court floors. Beyond the inclusion of @NBA, the ball itself will remain identical to last year in every other way.