NBA sees playoffs as time to launch Pinterest, Tumblr

Sports are finding a place in the photo-driven virility of social media

Technology trends and news by Krystal Peak
April 27, 2012
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Social media has rapidly become a key driver of traffic to brand websites and content, and now more people are thinking about different ways to tailor their Web presence to get fans onto their site.

The NBA is leveraging what great power its pictures and graphics are and, during the 2012 playoffs, have launched their official Tumblr and Pinterest accounts. While the NBA clearly has a lot of its own content to share (and hope Web virility boosts their Web traffic and media buzz, the organization is also getting fans involved by encouraging them to share their own photos at personal and professional games.

The NBA’s Tumblr page is focused on photos from recent pro basketball events — championships, great images of players, victory shots, etc. The NBA’s Pinterest boards will have two main strategies: e-commerce and character. 

With many style, design and fashion companies taking to Pinterest to drive brand awareness and sales of certain item, the NBA is noticing that they don't have to be a fashion company to reap the benefits of such sharing potential. The organization plans to feature throwback apparel tied to the NBA calendar and current merchandise. And in the character section, the NBA will feature all of the great images they have of players and coaches that made history.

Earilier this month it was announced that Pinterest is rapidly climbing the social ladder to become the third most popular network online in the US -- just behind Facebook and Twitter, according to a new report out by Experian Hitwise.

The report shows that Pinterest received 21.5 million visits in the last week of January -- a staggering 30x more than a single week it had in July. The total visits in March show that Pinterest is rapidly creeping up on Twitter's 183 million visits with its own 104 million. Facebook is in a league of its own with 7 billion visits in March. LinkedIn, Tagged and Google+ rounded out the top six with 86 million, 72 million and 61 million hits, respectively. 

Pinterest, with its strength in building brand and product awareness by creating an early shareable wish-list of goods is targeted more toward women, but a surprising number of men also frequent the site -- giving the new service a 60/40 split. 

The Tumblr and Pinterest offerings are being formed to give a more robust offering to the organization that already claims about 260 million combined Facebook likes and Twitter follows and is timed at the height of the playoff season.

Already the Twitter event that the NBA named “Hoops Around the World” has encouraged thousands of people around the world to share photos of their neighborhood nets in action with the @NBA account -- sporting the hashtag #hoops. Throughout the playoffs, the NBA will continue to retweet amazing photos of the #hoop shots and later compile an interactive world map showcasing all the submissions for the finals.

Perhaps the NBA will encourage other non-retail centric brands to adjust their social media strategy to leverage their photos and video on sites like Pinterest and Tumblr -- where all that really matters is whether an image resonates with enough people.

The NBA Tumblr is expected to launch Wednesday and the official Pinterest will be later in the week.



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