Sunday, May 10, 2009

The NBA - King of the Court and Social Media


I've been a fan of the NBA on Facebook and have been following them on Twitter for some time now. Whenever I need to provide an example of a brand who is doing a great job in this space, the NBA is my go to. Here's why:

Content in the Right Context
The NBA has done a fantastic job of editing content for the social space. On Facebook, they provide great previews and summaries of games, behind the scenes glimpses into the athletes and other cool things in snack sized form. They distribute at a relatively non-spammy frequency - which results in lots of 'likes' and comments - tapping into the exponential media power of the social web. On Twitter, they have a personality and really use the messaging service to relay messages - like game updates and other 'gossipy' type info (Jay-Z is courside for the Lakers).

Integration of Web Properties
They do a great job at promoting their social presences on their core nba.com destination. It isn't buried below all the copy or off to the side - but it's nicely collapsed together in the main navigation under "fan stuff". Also, the widgets and games they create appear on both their main site and as social applications - providing an experience wherever the fan happens to be.

They May be Making Money
As with all sports leagues, sponsorship dollars are a massive revenue stream and the web is providing a great opportunity for sponsors to tap into ravenous fans. Sponsored applications, videos, and stories hold massive revenue potential. They're doing a good job here, but there is obviously some room for improvement when you look at the Twitter and Facebook posts.

As media companies and other organizations struggle to think about new ways to differentiate their offerings, they really need to think about how they can create content specifically for social consumption. Tapping into the social curve is the one of the single biggest opportunities for them right now.