The National Basketball Association (NBA) sets the bar high when it comes to fan engagement. For global sports rights holders looking to showcase their value on social media, the NBA is #goals. As excitement builds for the 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend, the league gave fans a chance to watch the NBA All-Star Draft for the first time ever.
The program was the second-most talked about program on social media that day, with 1.4 million interactions on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, according to Nielsen Social Content Ratings. (The Lakers vs. Celtics game that followed the draft program was first.) Of the 1.4 million total interactions measured, 82% occurred on Instagram, 12% were on Twitter and 6% on Facebook.
Interactions are a measure of total relevant social media activity grossed across Facebook, Instagram business accounts and Twitter from three hours before through three hours after a broadcast, local time.
Social interaction peaked at 7:21 p.m. ET with 4,000 interactions on Twitter when team captains LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo picked their first players. Team LeBron had the first pick with the Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant and Team Giannis picked another Warrior, Stephen Curry.
The second-most talked about moment on Twitter was at 7:26 p.m. ET as viewers Tweeted in the minutes following the Ben Simmons/Russell Westbrook trade, and the third-most talked about moment occurred at 7:34 p.m. ET as viewers Tweeted in the minutes following Charles Barkley’s joke referring to LeBron James trading all his players to get New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis.
The top Twitter hashtags were #nbaallstar, #teamlebron and #teamgiannis. The team captains had the highest volume of Twitter mentions, followed by Simmons and Westbrook.
According to Nielsen Sports Sponsorlink, 24% of NBA fans consider the All-Star Game itself an event they would “never miss watching.” Fans of the Brooklyn Nets, Golden State Warriors, Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers are most likely to watch. And Minnesota Timberwolves fans are the least interested, but that could change with the Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns on the reserve roster for Team LeBron.
The 2019 NBA All-Star Game is Sunday, February 17 in Charlotte, N.C.