This morning had me in “best day” mode around the Magic Logix office, as my beloved Dallas Stars released their 2012-2013 season schedule. I found this out via Twitter, which is just an example of how social media has become a prevalent source for the flow of information throughout the world of professional sports. As a die-hard hockey fan and a guy who works in social media, this holy union of sports and technology has my unadulterated support. Let’s look at both the NHL and the NBA and how social media has had an impact on both sports. Because of my obvious bias, I’m going to start with the NHL first.
One thing that has impressed me this season is how the NHL has embraced and utilized social media. From adopting a new social media policy at the start of the season to interactive games and beard growing contests to coincide with the Stanley Cup playoffs, the NHL has welcomed social media with open arms. Even before the NHL Awards took place last night, social media was abuzz with a flurry of activity. I’ve been very impressed at how during the playoffs, the NHL Instagram and Twitter accounts were on fire, and it was really cool to see different photos of the players getting suited up at John Varvatos in Caesars Palace behind the scenes. The league didn’t just utilize every aspect of social media for the NHL awards, they had a strong foundation in place all season to bolster interest and promote interaction. Whoever has adopted this trend this year for the NHL is very smart, and has really played their cards well. Hockey, I applaud you.
Now, I could go on and on all day about hockey, but let’s also talk about the NBA. They just hosted their first ever Social Media Awards. I think the idea behind this is phenomenal, and it clearly shows how big of an impact social media has. Think about it – you can find everything from stellar dunks to buzzer-beating three pointers on YouTube. Players are tweeting constantly, there are trending hashtags during playoffs – the list goes on and on. Everyone who ever said that social media was going to be a passing fad should be ashamed of themselves. Of course, those same people are probably still using AOL mail or have an active myspace account as well. The very thought of a social media awards for a professional sports league is monumental. Well done, NBA. Now if the office here could just find common ground on the Thunder or the Heat, we’d be in business.
While it’s on my mind, it should be mentioned that social media is also helping the Olympics as well. Lolo Jones became an internet sensation virtually overnight and the 2012 London Olympics are set to be the most social Olympics ever.
Social media becomes a bigger part of our culture as time moves on, and it’s wonderful to see the world of professional sports adopt it and utilize it to its full potential.