I don’t follow the NBA as closely as some, but I’m always interested in the narratives surrounding parity, the lottery system, the differences between large and small markets, and so on. I’m a basketball fan, but not an obsessive one.
With that said, I could spend a very long time on the tool Twitter has created below. There’s a lot of information here, but I thought I’d just share this:
The Lakers have over 4 million Twitter followers. The Bucks have under 300,000. Obviously, lots of people follow more than one team, and so this isn’t as scientific as, say, a Facebook metric. But still.
Every team has outposts of support, and I like to speculate about what makes one county in Nebraska more likely to follow the Sixers than the county next to it.
You can get detailed information on every team, and you can compare any two teams. That’s helpful if you’re interested in social media as an indication of parity or if you want to keep tabs on how well rival teams on doing with social in general. If these numbers are any indication, major-market teams have an advantage (we already knew that), but the bulk of their follows come from outside their immediate metropolitan areas. The later is also true for small-market teams. If the ring were the thing, the Celtics really should have more followers than the Heat, but they have a million less. I’m guessing Heat fans skew younger and are more savvy with social. Boston should be treading the same threshold as the Lakers, but they’re not. Again, age and buzz are at work.