The Miami Heat win theScore’s 2011/2012 NBA Social Playoffs – LeBron James Picks up First Championship (Infographic)

Posted on May 30, 2012 by kennynorton No Comments

I had the pleasure of working on a super fun infographic project at theScore – entitled the “NBA Social Playoffs”.

The general idea behind the infographic is simulating the NBA Playoffs based on social media communities.

Each round was decided by different social media requirements:

  • First round: Total Facebook Likes on the team’s Facebook Fan Page
  • Second round: Total Social Following which = Facebook Likes + Twitter Followers + Google Circles
  • Third round: Twitter interactions = Tweets from the account, @replys from Twitter users and retweets
  • Fourth round:  sum of player Twitter followers for each team

The Miami Heat come out on top lead by their incredibly engaged community and their big 3 headed dragon of Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the most polarized basketball player in the world - LeBron James.

Speaking of LeBron, as the infographic shows, he has the biggest collective audience of any player in the NBA – with over 16 million on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+.

A couple of other interesting findings from the project were:

Kobe BryantWasted potential: Kobe Bryant who joined Twitter for a couple of days, but cancelled it shortly after, was mentioned almost 11 million times (almost as many as LeBron) – Kobe could be a social beast, perhaps eclipsing LeBron James, but he chooses to stay away. And in this case, he cost the Lakers the NBA Social Playoffs.

Least wins in the league Charlotte Bobcats = Least connections in the league – with just over 166,000 total connections, the Charlotte Bobcats (who had the worst winning percentage in the history of the NBA this season) have the least amount of total connections on FacebookTwitter and Google+ (Which they’ve never made a post on). Good luck with that Anthony Davis- who has twice as many followers as the team most likely to select him in the draft.

2011/2012 Twitter Timeline: In addition to the simulation there is a timeline of tweets throughout the season. There were over 14.5 million tweets mentioning the term “NBA” throughout the 2011/2012 NBA Season. The most tweeted about moment of the regular season? NBA All-Star weekend in Orlando.

The NBA is the social king: Measuring an entire years worth of tweets using “Sysomos” – the NBA is miles a head of any major North American sports league with over 18.6 million tweets about “NBA”. When compared how many times “NHL” or “MLB” were mentioned it’s over 3 times the mentions. The NBA is truly the social king of sports leagues.

Will this be the only ring LeBron picks up this year? We shall see!

Have a look at the infographic and click through to for even more cool facts from the infographic!


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