Mar 6, 2011, 1:59 PM EST
The NBA gets it. Twitter, Facebook, not ripping down videos off of YouTube. The NBA has embraced both the Web and social media.
And that has put them light years ahead of the other major sports leagues in this arena. That was highlighted at the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference (and reported at TrueHoop, who killed it all weekend). Nick Grudin, who works for Facebook on the Media Partnerships team, broke out the numbers in a panel at the conference.
According to Grudin, NBA fans are most active on Facebook, and it’s not close, as 7.6 million fans “like” the NBA, compared to just 2.6 million for the NFL and less than a million for MLB. Facebook is the NBA’s No. 2 referral source for traffic, seeing nine times as much traffic as it did a year ago. The NBA embraced Facebook before the other leagues, and the league is reaping the benefits in traffic.
Team-wise it’s about what one would expect with the Lakers (6.2 million), Celtics (3.4), Heat (2.6) and Bulls (1.4) ahead of the pack.
The Lakers, Celtics and Heat have more Facebook likes than the NFL. That is the NFL. The 800-pound gorilla of American sports.
Why does this mater? Because as Grudin notes, being a fan is a shared, interactive experience. You want to talk with fellow fans about Derrick Rose’s last second shot, Blake Griffin’s dunk, a trade that your team should make, why the coach sucks, how Mike Bibby couldn’t guard you on the playground. Now, more and more people are doing that talking online through Facebook and the rest rather than in a bar.
Combine that with the younger demographics of the NBA than the other major sports — a group who embraces this online technology — and you have a perfect storm. One that could help the NBA grow its popularity over time.
Well, unless the lockout kills all that momentum.
- Report: Lakers working on a one-year deal with Earl Clark 6
- Tom Thibodeau says Derrick Rose ‘didn’t re-injure himself’ after playing just 10 minutes in loss to Nuggets 9
- Lakers granted $4.85 million disabled-player exception for Steve Nash injury 11
- Kobe Bryant: “We’re not a 3-11 team. We’re not.” 26
- Tom Thibodeau is getting tired of answering Derrick Rose questions 15
- Veteran NBA coach: ‘I think (Cavaliers head coach David Blatt) is struggling a bit’ 30
- PBT’s Monday night NBA Winners/Losers: That looks more like the Cavaliers we expected 12
- Carmelo Anthony exits Knicks-Rockets game with apparent back injury 9