SBJ/July 16-22, 2012/In Depth

Who we follow on Twitter

Staffers highlight some of the people they follow on Twitter

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@b_ryan9
Bobby Ryan, NHL right wing
Photo by: Getty Images

The 25-year-old U.S. Olympian doesn’t take himself too seriously on Twitter. While his name has been in trade rumors for the last year, Ryan has alternated between setting the record straight on rumors and joking about his situation. He’ll tweet everything from commentary on NHL playoff games he’s not in, to photos of bad lies from his shots on the golf course.
Recent tweets:
■ When Anaheim Ducks draft pick Justin Schultz declined to sign with the team and became a free agent in late June, Ryan sarcastically tweeted: “What time is The Decision — Justin Schultz edition? Wanted to make sure I tune in.”
■ During the opening weekend of the Channing Tatum stripper movie “Magic Mike,” Ryan tweeted: “How many of you guys are gonna have to start a diet and workout program now that Magic Mike is out this weekend? Thanks a lot Tatum.”

@JimIrsay
Jim Irsay, Indianapolis Colts owner
Photo by: Getty Images
Followers of Irsay will get a healthy dose of lyrics quoted directly from classic rock songs. They also will be able to enter contests and giveaways, many of which appear to have been thought up and launched by Irsay spontaneously. But cut through the lighter fare, and you will see Irsay reacting real time to media reports, providing nuggets of inside information, and offering candid insights into his team and its future.
Recent tweets:
■ “Sitting on a corn flake..waiting for the van to come.....”
■ “Roster move!!! Signed free agent running back Mewelde Moore and released quarterback David Legree.”
■ “As much as I respect my friend Lenny Pasquarelli; the ‘One Source’ is completely wrong/We’re close on #12 n final details unrelated 2 marketing. … Someone is being fed a big breaky of BS this morning!”

@PaulGAllen
Paul Allen, Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trail Blazers owner
You never know when the secretive Allen will tweet, but when he does, it can be great stuff. Like during the NFL and NBA drafts, when he was the first of anyone to get the first few picks out.
Recent tweets:
■ “Watched possible @pdxtrailblazers draftees work out today at the PF, always enjoy the leadup to the draft... then to @powells for new books!”
■ “Dwight & Canzano get played by unnamed sources & show true colors lobbying for a sale of @pdxtrailblazers. The team is not for sale period!”
■ “Here is finally a tasty version of a 1962 Seattle World’s Fair Belgian Waffle. Would love comments. #recipes http://tiny.cc/mwq3dw”

@walsha
Allan Walsh, director of Octagon Hockey
Photo by: Getty Images

Sports agent Walsh, who represents 45 NHL players, tweets about what he is doing, whether he is at a game with his players or having a run-in with an airline. A hard-core players’ rights guy, Walsh also is known to take to Twitter to fight for clients.
Recent tweets:
■ On July 1, the start of NHL free agency: “Random thought from this morning at 6:00am in my office - don’t drop cell phone in urinal.”
■ Regarding Internet hockey rumor sites and bloggers claiming to break trade news: “Let’s say it the way it is. NHL GM’s share trade/UFA strategy with very tight circle of staff. Do you really think rumor guys have a clue?”
■ On free agency: “Just got off the phone with an NHL GM who commented on the money available within the system on July 1, ‘It’s a good year to be UFA.’”

@wmdavidcornwell
David Cornwell, head of the NFL Coaches Association
A foe of the NFLPA’s leadership, Cornwell will take to Twitter to send barbs the NFLPA’s way.
Recent tweets:
■ “Goodell stays ahead ... TicToc curtain being peeled back on the fraud the NFLPA has become”
■ “Grew up playing ball in DC in the 70’s n 80’s if some1 threw a bow like artest did, he is getting knocked out whether he hit me or not.”

@SixersCEOAdam
Adam Aron, Philadelphia 76ers CEO
Aron has helped the 76ers ownership group reconnect with the team’s fan base through Twitter, where he actively seeks fans’ opinions and provides insight and explanation for front-office decisions.
Recent tweets:
■ “Your @Sixers worked phones hard all night. We sold the 54th pick, because we can talk to agents of several intriguing undrafted prospects.”
■ “This seems to be popular idea, so: I will buy a beer for anyone buying a season ticket tomorrow at 215-339-7676, halftime of 2nd home game.”
■ “NBA rules don’t let me comment on all your draft, trade and free agent ideas, but I do read them all. An Interesting and exciting time.”

@IanJamesPoulter
Photo by: Getty Images

Golfer Ian Poulter
There are plenty of golfers on Twitter that you can follow to get updates on the sport’s interpersonal relationships; explore the joys and trials of international travel; and see striking images of beautiful golf courses. But if you want all of that plus direct interaction with a pro golfer, your best bet is Poulter. His tweets demonstrate Poulter’s honesty, sense of humor and penchant for being less than guarded when interacting with his followers.
Recent tweets:
■ “TPC Sawgrass 17th hole playing a bit tougher today than the tournament. Canoe required.”
■ “The block button is in full force now. I knew that a few sarcastic tweets would get the keyboard muppets out of there box. Ha ha ha.”
■ “Nobody can play 52 tournaments a year. You have to miss quiet a few events. I play 26 a year & that’s enough or I will never see my family.”

@Stako_tennis
Tennis player Sergiy Stakhovsky
Stakhovsky is a midtier tennis player, but an outspoken advocate on tennis political issues that can rile many. He recently took shots at women’s tennis during Wimbledon.
Recent tweets:
■ “Don’t remember what actually WTA said after RG increased prize money...was it thank you ATP????”
■ “Independent-contractors..hm ok . Independent is the one who can work when he likes, if the dates doesn’t suit him he is free to pass.”

@Yael_Averbuch
Soccer player Yael Averbuch
Photo by: ICON SMI

Averbuch, who blogs for The New York Times, provides her followers with a firsthand narrative of the trials and tribulations of a female professional soccer player in the U.S. While her tweets are mostly soccer-centric, she is able to entertain her soccer and non-soccer audience alike.
Recent tweets:
■ “fun and relaxing weekend. back to ‘work’ tomorrow and a busy week ahead of training, coaching, and 3 games with the @NJWildcats1996!”
■ “about to start a new NY Times blog post about the role of holding midfielder...some general observations and some from #euro2012”
■ “#euro2012 has already set the record for most hair gel used in a major tournament and there’s still one game left”

@NickCollison4
Nick Collison, Oklahoma City Thunder forward-center
The Thunder big man, who blogged during the season for GQ.com, reflects on basketball, being a dad and the rest of his life, marked by his dry sense of humor and the occasional retweet. He didn’t tweet as much during the playoffs, but hey, a guy’s gotta work.
Recent tweets:
■ After retweeting a photo of himself taken by a fan at a wedding: “The guy from mens wearhouse guaranteed i would like the way I looked in their rented tux. I was skeptical.”
■ “I got my first ‘hey bro, are u Michael Phelps?’ Must be an olympic year.”

@RalphCindrich
Ralph Cindrich, former NFL player, NFL player agent
The former NFL linebacker had an even longer career representing NFL players in contract work. Now that Cindrich no longer actively recruits player clients, he tells it like it was, like it is and like he thinks it will be. He’s unafraid of taking after people on Twitter and some of his favorite targets include the NCAA, other agents and certain college football coaches.
Recent tweets:
■ On Penn State: “PSU mess on Joe but few if any programs produced the quality finished product he did over the years. Class people who were good athletes.”
■ On health care: “When laws dictate health care they will dictate other parts: ‘Hey Fatso, put down that Dunkin Donut. You’re on the NO list!’ Good morning!”
■ On NFL bounty suspensions: “Settle this. Not good for fans, players, or football. Cut it down.”

Top team and athlete sites in social media

Top teams globally

Rank Team Twitter followers Facebook likes Total
1 FC Barcelona 10,547,188 33,165,123 43,712,311
2 Real Madrid 5,072,971 29,992,046 35,065,017
3 Manchester United 0 26,257,374 26,257,374
4 Los Angeles Lakers 2,602,439 14,067,971 16,670,410
5 Chelsea 1,168,194 11,329,221 12,497,415


Top U.S. teams

Rank Team Twitter followers Facebook likes Total
1 Los Angeles Lakers 2,602,439 14,067,971 16,670,410
2 Boston Celtics 630,750 6,665,378 7,296,128
3 Miami Heat 787,554 6,435,614 7,223,168
4 Chicago Bulls 490,543 6,647,636 7,138,179
5 New York Yankees 652,449 5,818,225 6,470,674


Top athletes globally on Twitter

Rank Athlete Twitter followers
1 Kaka (Brazil) 11,605,107
2 Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) 11,342,542
3 Shaquille O’Neal 5,929,160
4 LeBron James 5,260,517
5 Neymar (Brazil) 4,765,791


Top U.S. athletes on Twitter

Rank Athlete Twitter followers
1 Shaquille O’Neal 5,929,160
2 LeBron James 5,260,517
3 Chad Ochocinco 3,572,382
4 Lance Armstrong 3,567,024
5 Dwyane Wade 3,510,672


Note: As of July 5, 2012. The sites tracked were those sites identified as “official sites” by the leagues and teams. Many teams do have multiple sites — official and unofficial — used to reach fans, including sites created by front-office personnel.
Source: Sports Business Resource Guide & Fact Book

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