According to a recent study, Twitter is more of an essential for basketball fans than ever before.
The action from inside the NBA bubble this summer was a huge hit with fans on Twitter who were eager to experience the thrill of live sports. Now, with a new NBA season already in full swing, NBA fans on Twitter are feeling #blessed. The action on and off the court has given sports fans excitement at a time when they need it the most.
Because of health protocols, the stadiums are not jam-packed with fans — only a limited number of people will be allowed in the stands. But while the stadiums may not be at full capacity, Twitter will be filled with fans talking about all the action on and off the court, making it the perfect place for brands to connect to the basketball conversation, which according to our study, may be even bigger than ever.
More sports fans are in the ‘Twitter Stands’ than ever
Taking part in the sports conversation on Twitter is just as important as the game itself. In fact, two-thirds (69%) of people surveyed on Twitter agree that being part of the sports conversation on Twitter helps them feel more connected to the game — significantly more than other leading social media platforms.1 While stadiums aren’t filled to capacity, people are going on Twitter for a sports experience that they would often find at a live game.
Twitter is a new live experience for NBA fans
An overwhelming majority of basketball fans (86%) agree that Twitter helps make up for part of what they are missing when unable to attend a live sports event in person or watch at a bar with friends or family.
We saw this when the 2020 season relaunched in the NBA bubble this summer. There was a 73% increase in NBA Tweet volume compared to the 2019 Christmas games — typically one of the most popular times of any NBA regular season.2
The return of the NBA means even more to fans
The return of the NBA was a major milestone for the United States during the pandemic. That’s partly because it was the first major sport to shut down in March. For many fans in the US, basketball is a way of life. It unites communities and gives sports fans a reason to get hyped for the end of a long day. And with leagues returning, sports are more important to fans right now than ever before — 71% of people surveyed on Twitter say they put more value on sports now that they know how easily they can be taken away from them.3
It also wouldn’t be surprising if the #NBATwitter conversation grows this season. According to our study, 83% of people on Twitter say they would engage with sports that they would have never followed before the pandemic.4
For the legions of sports fans on Twitter, the return of sports represents a return of normalcy. It may not be as easy to watch an NBA game in person, but as the new season kicks off, sports fans are finding the comfort and excitement that resembles the live NBA experience they’ve missed so much — and they continue to find it on Twitter. It’s time for your brand to get in the game and connect to this conversation.
Hilary Pollack is a research manager on Twitter’s Marketing Insights & Analytics team. Follow her on Twitter @hpollack.
Dina Peck is a research analyst on Twitter’s Marketing Insights & Analytics team. Follow her on Twitter @dinapeck55.
1. Sparkler, commissioned by Twitter, Twitter as a Stadium Survey, August 2020, USA.
2. Sparkler, commissioned by Twitter, Twitter as a Stadium Survey, August 2020, USA.
3. Twitter Internal Data (Semantic Core). US only. 12/25/19 - 12/28/19 vs. 7/30/20 - 8/2/20. Data retrieved 8/3/20.
4. Sparkler, commissioned by Twitter, Twitter as a Stadium Survey, August 2020, USA.
5. Sparkler, commissioned by Twitter, Twitter as a Stadium Survey, August 2020, USA.