On February 2nd, NBA team the Golden State Warriors held their first “Social Media Night,” featuring a variety of ways for fans to engage with the team. For the first time in NBA history, players wore warm-up shirts featuring their personal Twitter handles.
The shooting shirts had the team Twitter handle (@Warriors) and hashtag #LETSGOWARRIORS on the front, and each individual player’s handle on the back. A limited quantity of these shirts was also for sale in the team store.
The t-shirts were just part of the action — “Social Media Night” also included:
- fan tweets posted to the scoreboard
- Instagram photo challenge (#WarriorsGround)
- Twitter trivia contest
- in-arena social scavenger hunts
- Pogoseat mobile seat upgrade contest
- virtual t-shirt toss via team’s mobile app
- meet and greet with Warriors guard Jarrett Jack for fans that checked into the game on Facebook
The team’s goal is to “be the most digitally advanced in the NBA,” and they have already built an impressive following on Twitter. The @Warriors account has over 163,000 followers, guard Stephen Curry has over 465,000 followers, and forward David Lee has over 90,000 followers.
The campaign was in partnership with Esurance, who provided Warriors texting gloves to the first 10,000 fans at the game on “Social Media Night.”
According to SI.com, the Warriors home of Oracle Arena is less than 20 miles from Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco.
Will this level of social media engagement – on an individual team basis – become standard for professional sports teams in the US?