There’s no question that the NBA lockout has thrown a wrench into the way teams and fans can interact. Teams are forbidden to have any contact with their players, and in turn have found it hard to connect with fans. This is because fans generally find themselves connected with the players, not the owners.
The players are the ones on the court during the season, and the players are who the fans pay to see. So when the teams are unable to promote their best players it can be difficult for them to draw the attention of the fans.
One of the most successful ways these days to connect with fans is through different social media mediums. Whether through sites like Facebook or Twitter, teams now have a different way to instantly access their fans in a matter of seconds.
There has been no better example of how to utilize social media correctly than the Los Angeles Lakers. In fact, a recent article on SlideShare.net listed the Lakers as the third most successful team when it comes to social media on the planet, and are the only NBA team in the top ten.
The Lakers official Facebook page is followed by over 10 million devoted fans, with an additional 2.2 million followers on the Lakers official Twitter page. Both are the highest in the NBA, and many are higher than any other professional sports team in the world.
One of the reasons the Lakers are so successful on these sites is their engaging questions and polls they offer their fans. The Lakers are always busy, even during the off-season, and by keeping their fans up to date on all the team’s happenings they are able to stay relevant in the midst of a nasty lockout.
It’s safe to say that no other NBA team has utilized social media quite like the Lakers, but the success that Los Angeles has had should be a blueprint for other teams to follow. The Lakers popularity in the United States and around the world is unmatched by another NBA franchise, and their online success is a major reason why.