Sportress of Blogitude

#Guh: NBA adding league’s Twitter handle to Spalding game balls (photo)


The NBA would like all the social media savvy types out there in the tubes that makes up the interwebs to know that it is a league on the forefront of being relevant online as it strives to be hip to all the things going on these days on the Internet. Mostly, the NBA wants people who follow the game who also spend time Twitter that yes, the league does have an official Twitter account. Something tells me the cross section of folks who are NBA fans who are unaware of the league’s official Twitter account amount to, oh, I don’t know, 10 people.

Still, the league is bravely stepping into the 21st century or whatever by adding the NBA’s Twitter handle, which is conveniently @NBA, to all official Spalding game balls for the 2014-15 season.

The NBA issued the following release on Thursday to announce its bold ball decision.

The NBA announced today that the @NBA handle will be added to the official Spalding game ball beginning with the 2014-15 NBA season. The NBA is the first professional sports league to include its social media handle on its official game ball.

The @NBA handle, which will appear directly under the “Official Game Ball” wording on the ball, represents the league’s global social media community of more than 660 million likes and followers combined — one of the largest social media communities in the world.

“The game is why we have 660 million followers, and our fans know @NBA is a must-follow for unprecedented access to our game, more insight into our teams, and unique behind-the-scenes content with our players throughout the entire year,” said NBA Senior Vice President of Digital Media, Melissa Rosenthal Brenner. “The ball is the instantly recognizable symbol of our game, and now our fans have a place there too, where they belong.”

The official game ball is not changing and will be identical to last season with the exception of the @NBA addition. Spalding has been the Official Game Ball of the NBA since 1983.

Fantastic. The official NBA Twitter account boasts about 10.8 million followers, putting it well ahead of the NFL, which has a paltry 7.03 million followers. Bush league, man. Expect those numbers to increase with all the people who will see the Twitter handle on a game ball that is almost constantly in motion during games, meaning the addition to the ball will be mostly indecipherable to the average viewer.

But expect the NBA to make gains in followers among its own players. Imagine how many NBAers will look down at the ball and go, “Hey! The NBA has a Twitter account? Now that’s a must-follow!” while they’re standing around waiting for the referees to take a look at video during an instant replay review.

And still, why not any mention of the league’s Facebook account? The URL of Adam Silver’s LinkedIn profile page would have been a nice addition as well.