Teams looking to connect with their fans should consider benchmarking the efforts of the Phoenix Suns. Led by Suns’ Director of Digital Media Amy Martin (@phoenixsunsgirl), the NBA team launched many socia media initiatives such as:
- their own social networking online community: Planet Orange. The Planet Orange community is focused on user-generated content, with forums, posts from fan blogs and Twitter, pictures, videos, and online fans competition.
- their Facebook page with more than 35,000 fans.
- their Youtube channel with a nice player introduction video
- their Twitter Page which the team often uses to distribute tickets via a “Suns Twitter Trivia” challenge.
- their Shaq! (cf my previous blog post: “An example of how an athlete can turn into an online celebrity: Shaq attack!“)
- their virtual tour site: Suns Locker Room. This interactive site is full of humor (I love the monkey ahah , the songtrack fantastic and you really feel connected with the team while comtemplating the hall of fame. Great job here!
Add to these a variety of other features (blogs by Suns players and personnel, forum for podcasts, widget tools, etc…) and their successful Tweetup Night on January 16 and you get a team that perfectly combine online and off-line social media strategies to create intense loyalty among fans.
According to Amy Marting, “Interacting with fans across these online communities has opened up opportunities to do much more than just share scores and stats,” She adds: “Fans are getting to know us personally as the people behind the brand, and everyone seems to be enjoying themselves in the process.”
There is no doubts all these initiatives create more lasting relationships with fans. Go Suns!