Adam Silver and the NBA are doing a happy dance — at least figuratively.
Yesterday, the NBA posted a video mashup on its Instagram of fans, children and security personnel getting their groove on at various NBA games. The video is celebrating the NBA hitting a major milestone on Instagram: 30 million followers.
This still leaves the NBA far behind celebrities such as Selena Gomez (140 million followers), Dwyane ‘the Rock’ Johnson (112 million followers) or Justin Bieber (102 million followers), but what matters is that the NBA is significantly ahead of its competitors.
The NBA’s social media success does not stop at Instagram. It is also ahead of all other major professional sports leagues on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
- NBA: 27.2 million followers
- NFL: 24 million followers
- MLB: 8.16 million followers
- NHL: 6.12 million followers
- NASCAR: 3.3 million followers
- PGA Tour: 2.11 million followers
- NBA: 36 million likes
- NFL: 17 million likes
- MLB: 6.9 million likes
- NASCAR: 5.1 million likes
- NHL: 4.5 million likes
- PGA Tour: 1.7 million likes
- NBA: 9.6 million subscribers
- NFL: 3.41 million subscribers
- MLB: 1.38 million subscribers
- NHL: 976,562 subscribers
- PGA Tour: 358,732 subscribers
- NASCAR: 293,545 subscribers
While the NBA is still far behind the NFL when it comes to television ratings, professional basketball is dominating online and on mobile devices, which is becoming more and more important.
Television ratings for live sports events have been declining for several years. Many sports executives fear that the main cause of this is because millennials are consuming sports in other ways, according to an article from McKinsey.com. This includes watching highlights and looking up stats, much of which fans find on social media.
That’s why the NBA’s dominance on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube is such a big deal. It also helps that major social media influencers like The Rock support professional basketball franchises by posting videos of himself visiting the Lakers training facility or helping Kyle Kuzma get buff.