The NBA, Where New Media Happens

It turns out my professor for Exploring New Media is super chill! She said I can use the blog posts I write for class on H2 Hoops too, so yay! I’ve made a new category called The NBA & New Media, specifically for these 10 posts. (If you can think of a better category name, please let me know.) Below is the first post I submitted, and I changed it around slightly to make it fit in better with the style of writing I do here. You know like how I sometimes ignore grammar, because fragments. Are cool once in a while. For effect.

The National Basketball Association, in an effort to keep up with the changing times, has embraced new media technology. That’s not exactly new news or anything, considering the Internet wasn’t born yesterday, but I feel like it is a nice place for me to start with these blog posts.

In this first post, I would like to reflect on how new media has impacted the NBA from my own observances–nothing too analytical or formal yet, just a brief overview as I have seen it. In the upcoming weeks, I plan to delve more deeply into specifics and numbers. Man, is having a class in which the work consists of me continuing my hobby awesome! Alhamdulillah.

So why new media and the NBA?

The NBA has official accounts on many platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and Google Plus, just to name a few. Even on its own website, the NBA encourages interactivity. It has a “blog” tab, which expectedly redirects you to posts written by NBA.com bloggers. Readers can leave comments on posts and reply to other commenters, just as they can on a more personal WordPress or Blogger site.

This shift toward greater interactivity between businesses and consumers really broadens the horizons. Public relations personnel and marketing experts for the NBA, which indeed is a business, can interact with the most normal of fans like you and me. Not only does the NBA have its official accounts stacking up followers who want up-to-the-second news about the game, but players, teams, and columnists have created their own Twitter and Facebook profiles to keep in touch.

News 12 producer, Andrea White, mentioned in a guest lecture for my Media Ethics and Law class last week that she made her Twitter account to basically get leads on different stories. Nowadays, when celebrities want to make announcements and when media outlets want to break news, they do so via the Timmy Internet generally, and Twitter, specifically. The proper news stories only develop after the fact.

Larry the (Twitter) Bird
The “Twitter Bird” was originally named “Larry the Bird”after legendary NBA player, Larry Bird.

It really feels like a new world, doesn’t it? Back when I first became a basketball fan in February 2006 while watching the All-Star Game, I don’t recall TNT or ESPN’s news ticker mentioning, “Tweet about the game with the hashtag #NBAAllStar!” Considering Twitter was founded March 21, roughly a month after the 2006 NBA All-Star Game, that memory makes sense.

Watching a basketball game used to mean sitting on the couch with the television on across the room and maybe some pizza and friends. Now, your friend can be in a different timezone–you may not even know the guy–and you’re tweeting him or liking his public reactions on NBA’s official Facebook fan page as if you’ve known him since you were 12.

What is so bad about that though? The NBA certainly doesn’t seem to have a problem with this new media frenzy. When people tweet, retweet, reblog, mention, like, and favorite posts and comments regarding games, it is simply free publicity to the entire globe. I can tweet regarding the stellar performance Jeremy Lin had against the Los Angeles Lakers, and my friends in Egypt who don’t care about Lin or basketball will know his statistics, seconds after he scores.

Sam Laird on Mashable.com quotes Melissa Rosenthal Brenner, vice president of marketing of the NBA:

“We are committed to delivering great content to our fans 24/7. More and more we’re using social media as the lens for that, so to speak.”

New media is no problem for the NBA; it just makes reporting when and where amazing happens way more convenient and quick.

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