Last night, the NBA announced the winners of its ambitious NBA Social Media Awards, an awards ceremony to reward players, teams and fans for their social engagement during the 2011-2012 NBA season. The awards were hosted by some big names including Rick Fox, Shaquille O’Neal and more. This is a first for a major American sports league, and was actually quite interesting and humorous – a lot of fun stuff goes down on social networks besides the game these days.
There were several categories, and the NBA team looked at Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, SMS and others. Are we going to see other sporting leagues adopt a similar format for the end of the year? It’s a great way to connect with fans in the off season. It’s a way to look at the best highlights of the year as voted by the fans, and of course gives fans a way to connect with each other while the awards are going on.
The recipients are listed below.
• The Epic Award – favorite game during the regular season, as voted by fans.
- Linsanity Begins (Feb. 12, 2012: Lakers vs. Knicks: Lin scores 38 points to outduel Kobe Bryant)
• The Got Game Award — the fan-favorite team/play during the regular season.
- “Blake Goes Big” (@BlakeGriffin)
• The Social Slam Award — the fan-favorite dunk during the regular season.
- Gerald Green “Go Get It”
• The Social MVT (Most Valuable Team) — the team who had the largest social media footprint during the regular season.
- Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers)
• The Fan Nation Award — the team with the highest percentage of increased exposure across all platforms including all players on the respective teams.
- Los Angeles Clippers (@LAClippers)
• The FTW (For The Win) Award — the team/player who had the most shared/liked buzzer-beater during the regular season.
- Kevin Durant’s game winner against the Dallas Mavericks (December 29, 2012)
• The BIG (Best in Game) Award — the player who best utilized social media in a creative way across multiple platforms.
- Jared Dudley (@JaredDudley619)
• The #TrendSetter Award — the player who received the most mentions this season via Twitter.
- Kobe Bryant
• The Thumbs-Up Award — the player who had the most likes or whose Facebook posts received the most likes.
- Kobe Bryant
• The Triple Threat Award — the former player turned analyst who is the best person to follow via social media.
- Shaquille O’Neal (@Shaq)
• The Social Breakout Award — the player seeing the biggest increase in popularity with fans across Twitter and Facebook this season.
- Jeremy Lin (presented prior to the show)
• The Snap Shot Award — the player who posted the best picture of the year.
- Landry Fields — Couch Made Famous (@landryfields)
• The LOL Award — the team/players who had the most shared/liked blooper video during the regular season.
- JaVale McGee (@JavaleMcGee34)
Check out a video highlighting some of the awards here and see Shaq and the rest of them sing about the social media awards. It’s worth it, trust me.