The National Basketball Association (NBA) is the first professional sports league to surpass one billion social media likes and followers.
The league’s more than one billion likes and followers includes all league, team and player accounts combined across social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram along with Tencent and Sina in China.
The NBA’s social media following includes 28.5 million likes on the league’s Facebook page, 19.5 million @NBAfollowers on Twitter, and 12.7 million @NBA followers on Instagram.
Twelve-time NBA All-Star LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers tops all NBA players on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, while the Los Angeles Lakers are the most followed NBA team on social media.
Rounding out the top five NBA players on social media are the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant, the Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade, and the New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony. Eight of the top 10 players on the list were selected to participate in NBA All-Star 2016. Nearly 90 percent of NBA players are on at least one social media platform.
The Lakers are followed on the top teams list by the Chicago Bulls, Heat, Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors.
Top 10 NBA Players Across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
1) LeBron James, Cleveland: 66.3 million total likes and followers
2) Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers: 33.7 million
3) Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City: 28.8 million
4) Dwyane Wade, Miami: 22.1 million
5) Carmelo Anthony, New York: 15.9 million
6) Stephen Curry, Golden State: 15.3 million
7) Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers: 13.6 million
8) Derrick Rose, Chicago: 12.8 million
9) Dwight Howard, Houston: 12.7 million
10) Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City: 10.0 million
Top 5 NBA Teams Across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
1) Los Angeles Lakers: 28.3 million total likes and followers
2) Chicago Bulls: 22.5 million
3) Miami Heat: 21.6 million
4) Boston Celtics: 11.3 million
5) Golden State Warriors: 10.3 million
To embrace its global social media fanbase, the NBA was the first professional sports league to include its social media handle on its official game ball when it added the @NBA handle prior to the 2014-15 season.