With the Golden State Warriors in the midst of a dynasty run, which includes three titles over the past four seasons — all of which have come against the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers — Sports Business Chronicle wanted to ask some questions around social, digital and ticketing.
Moreover, we hoped to answer the over-arching query about how the on-court success of the NBA’s third-most valuable franchise has translated to social/online and the box office.
The Dallas-based social media intelligence platform, MVPindex, assessed how the Warriors have fared on social media over the past three-plus years and provided other noteworthy findings and statistics.
- On Facebook, Golden State has seen its ‘Likes’ increase from 3.51 million in mid-June 2015 to 11.4 million as of June 19 (224 percent growth).
- Its Twitter handle has gone from 904,000 followers to 5.88 million over the same time period (increase of 550 percent).
- Finally, on Instagram, the account has grown from 1.39 million to 8.94 million (up 542 percent).
So, where do the Warriors currently sit in the NBA, among all 30 teams, in terms of social followers across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram?
Well, the team is No. 2 behind the Los Angeles Lakers with 26.2 million fans combined among the three platforms. The Lakers have 33.9 million. Rounding out the top five are the Chicago Bulls (25.98 million), Miami Heat (23.36 million) and Cleveland Cavaliers (19 million).
Since the 2015 NBA Finals, what has Stephen Curry’s follower growth been like on the three channels?
- From mid-June 2015, his Facebook following has increased from 3.2 million to 8.2 million (155 percent).
- Twitter has seen a 420 percent increase, from 2.43 million to 12.67 million.
- And with Instagram, a whopping 634 percent increase in three years as the account has gone from 2.69 million to 19.77 million.
What has Klay Thompson’s social follower growth been like as well?
- Of the three platforms, Instagram has seen the biggest increase at 494 percent … 807,400 to 4.79 million.
- Twitter’s a closer second, with an increase of 214,000 in mid-June 2015 to currently 1.16 million (440 percent).
- Facebook comes in at No. 3 and an 150 percent uptick … 1 million to 2.53 million.
Kevin Durant, who joined the Warriors in July 2016, has participated in two NBA Finals with Golden State where he’s won back-to-back MVP honors. MPVindex examined the 29-year-old’s growth in social followers from mid-June 2017 to June 19, 2018. Below are the findings.
- Facebook: interestingly enough, Durant’s account has dropped in ‘Likes’ by 0.4 percent while it clocks in at 10.46 million.
- Twitter: 15.96 million to 17.64 million, an 11 percent increase.
- Instagram: 8.66 million to 9.55 million, a 10 percent increase.
- His total followers among the three platforms come in at 37.66 million.
Where does the Warriors’ trio of Curry, Thompson and Durant rank in the NBA among all players’ social followers?
- Curry is No. 2 in total followers (40.65 million) among the three social channels, which is behind Cleveland’s LeBron James (101.35 million).
- Durant’s a close No. 3 at 37.65 million while Thompson is No. 16 with 8.48 million; the latter is sandwiched between Portland’s Damian Lillard and Washington’s John Wall.
- At No. 4 is Miami’s Dwyane Wade (30.13 million) followed by Oklahoma City’s Carmelo Anthony rounding out the top five (21.07 million).
NetBase, a Silicon Valley-based social analytics platform, analyzed the online conversation and sentiment from April 2016 to the end of the 2018 NBA Finals on June 8. The company looked at five social channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and YouTube.
Here are some data findings.
- Throughout the eight months analyzed in 2016, forward Draymond Green was the top-mentioned Warriors’ player on social media. This was the same year in which Green was suspended for Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
- With the 2016 Finals loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the top emotion surrounding the Warriors’ defeat was ‘shame’. On the contrary, back-to-back Golden State Championships have now translated into more obvious positive emotions such as ‘good’, ‘best’ and ‘congratulations’.
- In 2017, Stephen Curry was mentioned more across social media than the Warriors team itself.
- Even with three NBA Championships and the Big Four, the volume of conversation around Golden State — in any of its three prior NBA Finals — was highest in 2016.
Vivid Seats, a secondary market online ticket reseller, shared the below insights with Sports Business Chronicle.
In 2014-15, the first season where the Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first of three NBA Championships, home games at Oracle Arena (regular season and playoffs) averaged $242 per each ticket sold. Over the subsequent three years, the average price for a ticket sold rose to $300 and above.
Here are the numbers.
- 2015-16: $364 (73-win regular season)
- 2016-17: $310
- 2017-18: $314