In an NBA article on June 12, (“2012 NBA Finals: By the numbers“) the league took a look at some of the most interesting stats leading up to The Finals. Among the highlights, the article stated that a record 278 million fans globally follow the NBA, teams, and players on social media. It also mentioned that there were 7.6 million mentions of LeBron James on Twitter and Facebook by fans since start of playoffs and more than 5 million mentions of Kevin Durant. And just this week the NBA held its first ever Social Media Awards, which it promoted through commercials during the playoffs and The Finals as well as on its own social networks.
Recognizing the impact of social media, the NBA is giving its fans more chances to be involved than ever before. For instance, the NBA Social Media Awards honored winners in categories such as The FanNation Award (LA Clippers), The Social MVT (Los Angeles Lakers), The Social Slam Award (Gerald Green), and The Triple Threat Award (Shaquille O’Neal). Winners were based on what drew the most social sharing. Several categories were also voted on by the fans themselves via Facebook, Twitter and the awards web page. But it didn’t stop there, during the ceremony, held on June 20, fans were invited to “Tweet along with #NBASMA & check-in on GetGlue.”
As the world watches the The Finals, the league is making substantial efforts to make the fans feel that they are a part of the action, even if they are hundres of miles away. They have well-organized systems in place that allow fans to see photos and videos of the action from their social networks as it happens behind the scenes and “off camera.” Just take a look at the NBA Twitter page and see for yourself.
With all the hoopla (no pun intended) over the NBA Finals, it will be interesting to see what the social sharing stats are once it’s over. Although, it will only take free agency and draft picks to continue the fun. There’s never been a doubt that people love sports and that has certainly amplified with the explosion of social media. More than ever fans are a part of the action, which only intensifies their passion for the game and their favorite team. Now everyone, yes even you, can be a commentator broadcasting play-by-plays for all of your friends. And the league loves it.