Wednesday, April 29, 2015

BWB6: Like, Follow, Swipe Right: How The NBA is Connecting With Fans in the Modern Era

I'm in Chicago for Blogs With Balls 6 and taking plenty of notes. I'll be posting my notes from each panel here for the use of anyone who wants to check them out. Keep in mind that these are highlights, not complete transcripts. Every effort is given to be as accurate as possible; apologies for any transcription mistakes. Here are my notes from the third panel, focusing on the NBA and its engagement with fans.

Like, Follow, Swipe Right: How The NBA is Connecting With Fans in the Modern Era
Zach Harper, CBS, @talkhoops
Eddie Maisonet III, The SF Journal, @edthesportsfan
Andrew Nicholson, Sacramento Kings, @a_nicholson
Moderator: Lang Whitaker, NBA Digital, @langwhitaker

EM: On Twitter, you can talk about anything, even things not directly NBA related. Movies:
“Jesse Hall is the greatest MIghty Duck of all time.”
EM: “Getting a credential is not that tough for the NBA.”
ZH: “I started writing when I moved to Sacramento. When I started Truehoop’s Kings blog, the Kings reached out to me.”
LW: “The Hawks reached out to me.”
“The NBA’s been pretty forward-thinking.”
NBA popularity: “It’s come a really long way in a short amount of time.”
EM on Twitter: “We can read a Zach Harper piece on and we can call Zach an idiot and he can respond. Or we can have a deeper secondary, tertiary conversation.”
“You build these microcommunities and people can jump in and hop on.”

ZH: “I actually hate tweeting about basketball because it’s too difficult to get proper context in one tweet.”
“It’s this awesome force that brings people together.”

LW: “Why are we doing this? Why are we waking up and checking our mentions?”
ZH: “I literally have nothing else to do.”
EM: “You see personalities that emerge and are able to traffic whatever they want to traffic. ...The opportunity is legitimately there.”
LW: “You don’t have to be an expert on something, you just have to sound like an expert.”
ZH: “I can speak to that.”

AN on “Sauce Castillo”: team account jumped on it, players jumped on it
“Since that time, Nik’s signed his own endorsement deal.”
“It’s worked out well for everyone.”

EM: “If you can create GIFs and get them out to the people, you’ll have a following.”
AN: “One of our most popular posts on Facebook ever was the dunk show that took place during the third quarter.”
“We’re trying to tell the whole story, not just what happens on the court.”

EM: Twitter: “It’s by the fan for the fan. You get to see these diehard fans.”

AN: Does SM help small-market teams? “We found our niche in being able to provide access that no one else could. Social has given us an incredible platform to disseminate that across the world.”
LW: “The teams that aren’t as good seem to be more willing to take risks on social media.”
“It’s a way for teams that aren’t very good to have more of a presence.”

LW on odd stories like Hawks organist: “Nowadays, within two days it’s on every website.”
EM: “Find those little things that you think are interesting. More likely than not, other people will find them interesting.”

AN: “Teams pay attention to the communities that support them.”

LW on leagues taking down video, NBA not; it makes sense to let fans do stuff. “I’ve posted fan videos on”
ZH: “I think the breaking point is are you getting a sponsor for it.”
EM: “Being able to leverage that content, even if you didn’t create it originally, there’s an opportunity there.”

AN: Are owners involved in team’s social media? “From a team standpoint, we have over 40 channels that we have.”
“So much of the organization is on social media to continue to tell the story of why it’s an exciting time to be a Kings fan.” 

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