Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
The top team in terms of social media equity is the LA Lakers. The Lakers crush the competition both in terms of raw numbers and in our model. In second place, we have the Miami Heat. This one is interesting, and we suspect that the Heat results may be a bit misleading. While the Heat does very well currently it is not possible to separate out how much of the social media equity is driven by the team versus by LeBron. This is something to watch as we collect more social media data over the next few years. In third place, we have another non-surprising result in the Celtics.
I’ll answer that Heat question for you. Yes, it’s the LeBron effect. He has, at this moment 9,651,589 followers. That’s a lot, though, not when you compare him to the number one most followed Twitter user, Justin Bieber, who has over 44 million followers. @KingJames is currently the most followed NBA player, but is 64th overall, just behind Jimmy Fallon.
But he’s the highest ranked American athlete on the list, which brings me to a larger point: the NBA dominates Twitter. For all of the NFL’s popularity, it’s Twitter feed is followed by just under 5 million people. The NBA has more than 8 million followers, which is more than the Dalai Lama (who I hear is a big hitter) and ESPN.
The Celtics, as you can see from the screen shot, have 1.2 million followers. Miami has 1.7 million, and the Lakers have over 3 million, which is impressive. Compare that to the New York Yankees… who have 977,704 followers at the moment, or the New York Giants… who have 488,380.
The Celtics are part of a larger Twitter and social media domination that is very important to them, and the league. It’s no secret the NBA has considered overseas expansion, and part of this online success is a large following in countries that don’t give a damn about baseball or American football.
When you’re talking about the business side of sports, things like social media impact matter. These followers are younger and more engaged and invested in the team’s day-to-day developments and future success. These are the people who will grow older, get married, have kids, and organically create larger fan-bases around the world for these teams.
Baseball is run by out-of-touch relics who fought tooth-and-nail to preserve ridiculous ancient traditions that continue to alienate its younger fans. The NFL is struggling with the very violence that makes it so popular, forcing parents to decide whether their children are even safe playing the sport, and making rules changes that some fans say is watering the product down. Hockey has always struggled to gain a foothold in popularity, and recent labor struggles have only served to make that struggle more difficult.
The NBA, though, busted out of its lockout with authority, and through its social media reach, continues to build consumers for its game that other leagues are struggling to cultivate. Eventually, baseball’s revenues will take big hits and the NFL will slowly come back to earth.
But the NBA continues to grow. And those international dollars from that ever-growing fan base could be the difference between the team being able to swing another year over the tax line down the road, or trading pieces away because the team is getting too expensive again.
Social media equals increased business… which equals increased dollars that can be spent on the team. With the Celtics near the top of that list, their global popularity could be what helps them put better players on the floor.
Oh, by the way, in the time it took me to write all this, LeBron picked up about 300 new followers.
One other note: This rumor was out there yesterday:
Free-agent PG Sebastian Telfair drawing interest from Celtics, Lakers and Spurs, league sources say.
— Sam Amico (@SamAmicoFSO) September 3, 2013
But I don’t see anyone else reporting the Celtics being involved. The C’s can’t even afford him right now anyway. If they waived Donte Green, they’d get about $500,000 under the tax. Even if they paid Bassy the minimum, it’d still put them over the tax line (the minimum for Telfair, who is going into his 10th year, would be about $1.4 million. Because the league picks up half of all minimum contracts, only $700,000 would count towards the cap, putting the C’s just over the tax line.)
The rest of the links (a.k.a. “all the links to Sullinger stuff that I avoided this morning”)
Herald: Sullinger apologizes, pleads not guilty in assault case | CSNNE: Police: Sullinger’s girlfriend had visible red marks | ESPN Boston: Sullinger must clean up mess | Globe: Sullinger pleads not guilty to assault charges | WEEI: Sullinger apologizes in statement for embarrassing situation