On Wednesday June 12, Chris Webber will be hosting the 2nd Annual NBA Social Media Awards, which will be televised live on NBA TV at 8 P.M. Players and celebrities will be making appearances at the awards show as well. The awards will recognize players, teams, and fans for their engagement on social media during the 2012-2013 regular season.
The awards take into account activity on platforms including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram among others. Four new awards are being added on to those that were given out last year. There is the #TrendSetter Award for the most stylish players on social media. The 140 Award goes to the player who made the best tweet of the year. The OMG Award is given to the team that shared the best video via social media. Lastly, The Social Rook of the Year Award is handed to the first year player who gained the biggest increase in his following on social media.
Fans can vote through the end of May at nba.com/SMA. The only exception is the Social Slam Award, which goes to the player who made the most acclaimed dunk. Voting for that award still be open on Twitter during the awards show, up until right before the winner is announced. Votes can also be cast on the NBA’s mobile website, or on Twitter, using the hashtag #NBASMA.
The NBA official accounts and those of the players and coaches are all over social media these days, and they’re using it well to their advantage. They have soared passed 400 million followers across all of their pages. They have nearly 17 million fans on Facebook itself. The NBA was the first professional sports league to accumulate over a billions views on their YouTube channel. In fact, they are so engaged that the NBA had to institute rules a few years ago to ban any social media activity during games and any criticism of officials or face a fine.
Naturally, the league wants to televise the awards show on its own network, NBA TV. Maybe in the future they will consider live streaming it on YouTube or other social media sites. It would only be appropriate for a social media awards show – and not everybody has access to NBA TV.
Coming from someone who works at a social media agency, I can really appreciate the clever outreach strategy behind the Social Media Awards – it’s a bit like crowdsourced branding. It’s a great way to keep fans engaged with the sport and show them that the league appreciates and values their opinion and loyalty.