In 140 characters or less, Twitter is revolutionizing the basketball world one tweet at a time. Twitter has become a marketing tool that reaches millions of people daily, leading to countless ways that a person may reach out to their target market. Everyone and their mother has a Twitter account. And if you don’t have an account yet, you’ll create one by the time you finish reading this article (knowing the power that your favorite basketball player has by tweeting what he just ate for lunch).
For basketball players on Twitter, they are trying to reach their friends, family and fans – casual and hardcore alike. Players are announcing breaking news, telling stories, performing charity, running contests, interacting with fans and everything in-between.
A few examples of activities that players have performed on Twitter:
- Sean May announced his free agent signing to the Sacramento Kings.
- Chris Paul snuck a picture of all white Jordan XI’s at the Jordan Headquarters.
- Kevin Durant & Andre Iguodala recently gave a sneak peek of their new Nike commercial.
- Dwight Howard has multiple daily tweets ranging from a Twitpic of what he had for breakfast to updates on his workout to UStream videos of him chatting with fans wearing a Jamaican dreadlocks wig.
- Chris Bosh and Charlie Villanueva had a contest to see who would receive 50,000 followers first in which the loser would have to perform an embarrassing stunt on YouTube. Villanueva also gave out thousands of free shoes to charities in efforts to win the contest by offering a donation of a free pair for every new follower.
- Shaquille O’Neal and Paul Pierce have given away game tickets over Twitter to fans that could find them in their respective public location that they tweeted the message from (i.e. shopping mall).
- And everyone remembers when Charlie V tweeted during halftime of a regular season game to let his followers know that he needed to step his game up after having a struggling first half.
The most important and powerful aspect that Twitter allows for players to do though, is to build their brand up as a player. The stronger a player’s own personal brand name is, the more value and power that player will have.
No player has arguably more power than LeBron James in this industry. After firing his marketing company and creating his own, LRMR Marketing, traditional marketing companies may become a thing of the past. If other players have the ambition to follow in LeBron’s footsteps and promote and market themselves, Twitter is the ultimate tool to do so.
For basketball players to speak directly to their main consumers, their fans who follow them on Twitter, it allows them to become their own marketing team and promote themselves for free. The fans and their followers are ultimately the people who will support a player’s endeavors. These fans will be the people who buy tickets to a game, a jersey, attend off-court player associated events, watch a movie the player has a role in, and anything and everything else a player might be involved in.
Twitter not only benefits these players but also is good for sponsoring companies and fans alike. Durant and Iguodala provided free PR for Nike by simply taking a camera phone picture of a scene from their newest commercial and putting it on Twitter. Now all their fans and basketball heads alike are anticipating this new commercial. After seeing the Twitpics of the commercial shoot, fans have interacted with Durant and Iguodala by simply replying back to their tweet. They can also join in on live UStream or TwitterTV feeds of their favorite players (everyone from Durant to Dwight to Stephon Marbury have done it) and further interact with them by chatting through Twitter as the players respond over a webcam. No longer will fans have to wait hours before and after a game to get a response from their favorite player, but rather in the comfort of their own home.
Please RT (retweet): This is just the beginning of Twitter taking over the world, but don’t even get me started about how Twitter is effecting the music, media and entertainment businesses as well…