Lebron James’ social media hiatus ended with the Miami Heat’s victorious game last Thursday. Enthusiasm spread rapidly through tweets as the Miami Heat took the NBA Championship win and Lebron James was given the MVP title for the game.
“He’s finally got one.”
That’s what all the headlines are saying or, if not explicitly, at least hinting at. LeBron James, this season’s NBA MVP (for the third time), finally realized his enormous potential last week with his first of what could be (not) one, (not) two, (not) three, (not) four, but more NBA championships. Leading the Miami Heat and what has to now be all of basketball’s “Big Three” to the world championship last night with a triple-double, James called his victory, “the hardest thing I’ve done as a basketball player” and joined an elite number of player—five to be exact—who clinched the championship trophy with a triple-double.
He tampered the lightning-sharp shots of a most talented opponent and certainly a future superstar, Kevin Durant, and the other members of the Oklahoma City Thunder with a physical brand of basketball the simply overpowered them. The players of the Heat scorched the final series, winning it 4-1 and singeing their own mark into the basketball history books with a decisive 121-106 5th-game score.
As Bluefin Labs’ excellent analysis of the game’s effect on social media shows, the final game of the series garnered 6.16 million tweets and 152 thousand comments on Facebook. Of course, @KingJames fans were happy to share in the excitement. His now-famous tweet had hit 72,128 retweets by 7:19 p.m. GMT. As one might expect, the final game in the Heat-Thunder five-game series had the most of all the games—by far. With 6.31 million social media interactions, the NBA Finals had almost double the previous game’s count and over double the second and third games’ individual tallies.
The heat to win more championships is on, however, James can at least relax happily knowing that he has earned finally his first world championship ring. He must be feeling the social media love too. On his website is a video devoted to his fans and his twitter page is a collection of Miami Heat fans.
The NBA is an avid enthusiast of social media marketing. The NBA Playoffs have been the clear evidence of successful engagement with fans. Do you think other sports leagues will follow suit? Should they?