By: Dallas J. Short
The NBA gets it, they really really get it. They are aware their fanbase is younger and socially connected (read: addicted to smartphones and tablets). They strongly believe that “fan-generated content is the ultimate marketing.” Teams and players are both active and followers continue to grow. More than 87% of NBA players have one or more accounts and the league’s new campaign #ThisIsWhyWePlay has been successfully exploding. Numbers wise, it’s hard to deny their force. The NBA has 27.5 million (Facebook) and 17.7 million (Twitter). How does that compared to the other big leagues? NFL has 12.5 million (Facebook) and 13.9 (Twitter). MLB has 6.3 million (Facebook) and 5.3 million (Twitter). NFL has 3.9 million (Facebook) and 4.21 million (Twitter).
This season the NBA is bringing games to Facebook and Twitter. Subscribers to League Pass (or Team Pass, which for the first time grants access to all out-of-market games for a single team) will be able to go straight from social media (official NBA posts/tweets) through a “watch” link into the games they pay for and watch in real time. Non-subscribers can purchase access to a single game for $6.99. The NBA will become the first major U.S. professional sports league to offer a single option for fans throughout the regular season. The single game offering, available for purchase three days prior to the game, will allow fans to watch individual NBA League Pass live games during the regular season. The only league doing it this way for streaming, where you don’t have to buy the entire package and can only watch what you want. I say again, the NBA gets it!
So instead of just hearing or reading about Steph Curry putting up another 30+ points in a game, you can watch it wherever you are at as well. If LeBron or someone is set to break another record, access that single game to see history happen. As a Sixers fan, the fear of throwing my phone becomes even more a risk. So, I think I will have stick to yelling at the television for at least a few more years.
Last season, there were 101 international players on opening-night rosters, which is almost 25% of the league. This new update allows international growth as well.
(From their press release) The NBA had a record breaking year on social media, adding 240 million new fans since the end of the 2013-14 regular season — a 40% increase and largest single-year total. Overall, the NBA now has more than 811 million likes and followers combined across all league, team and player social platforms. The record year on social media for the NBA resulted in more than 31 billion impressions, up 130% over the previous season with record growth on NBA social platforms including:
Facebook: +4.8 million new likes, +22% (2 million total likes)
Twitter: +4.1 million new followers, +42% (13.9 million total followers)
Instagram: +3.5 million new followers, +151%, (5.8 million total followers)
YouTube: +665 million new videos viewed, +33% (2.7 billion total videos viewed)
NBA.com and NBA Mobile achieved all-time traffic records during the 2014-15 season with more than 16.7 billion page views and 4.2 billion video views combined, up 9% respectively when compared to the previous season.
While other leagues are trying to shut down user content, it’s great to see the NBA, under Adam Silver’s leadership, continue to grow and thrive while embracing their fans and wanting to do more for their overall experience.
Are you following the @NBA or your favorite teams and players on social media? Do you think you will watch games through the new watch link?
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