First, the NBA allows teams the freedom to create their own programs and Web content. The National Football League and Major League Baseball dictate a centralized policy.
Quoted in Fast Company, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban says it’s because, “Our players are smart and understand the value of social media, and the league has been able to leverage that.” Twitter seems ubiquitous among NBA players.
The Los Angeles Lakers are the world champion and the third-most-popular sports social-media entity. They trail only the whole NBA and Barcelona’s soccer club.
The Phoenix Suns rank number two. They offer tweetups with players and fans, while its planetorange.net fan site is the envy of the league. Even the Gorilla mascot tweets.
The Boston Celtics come next. They added 1.5 million fans on Facebook (and 50,000 email addresses to their database) with the help of its 3-Point Play game.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are the fourth most socially savvy team. It uses its community site, cavfanatic.com, to connect and communicate the arena’s fan-friendly experiences. It also does “tweetstakes” and blogger shout-outs before most games.
In fifth place in the world rankings of socially-savvy teams comes the New Jersey Nets. The team will move to Brooklyn in 2012 and is up roughly 350 percent on Facebook and nearly 300 percent on Twitter as it cultivates new fans.