- Maria Burns Ortiz, ESPN Playbook
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The Miami Heat and Boston Celtics will come down to a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference finals. Who could have predicted this showdown? Turns out a quick look at social media might have.
Analyzing everything from total number of Facebook likes to tweets, retweets and @replies, The Score “predicted” the Eastern Conference finals matchup back when many doubted the Celtics had a shot.
According to Kred, which measures social media influence, the Heat have far more social media pull. Miami’s 9.6 million Twitter followers (player and official team account combined) and 5.2 million mentions dwarf Boston’s 3.7 million combined followers and 800,000 mentions. (The Celtics do have nearly a million more fans than the Heat on Facebook.)
But Kred’s data shows the Celtics appear to be the playoff fan favorite. Leading the way among tweets (retweeted more than 1,000 times) during the Miami-Boston series:
— Basketball Problems (@BballProblemz) June 3, 2012
— PUSHA T (@PUSHA_T) June 4, 2012
RT if your a #Celtics fan!!! Boston Baby!!!
— Deion Branch #84 (@deionbranch84) June 6, 2012
In what could be bad news for Celtics fans, The Score’s analysis had the Heat advancing to the NBA Finals. Then again, it also had the Thunder bounced in the first round.
Social media all-stars
Major League Baseball made headlines when it allowed players to post to their various social media accounts from the field during the Home Run Derby in 2011. This week, MLB announced it is taking social media a step further by allowing players to post updates during the All-Star Game in Kansas City. After exiting the game and speaking with media, All-Stars will be able to post updates and respond to fans on social media before returning to the bench. (Normally players cannot post anything from 30 minutes pregame until the game is over.) MLB.com also launched its “Tweet the Vote” page, highlighting related hashtags from all 30 teams and compiling team, player and fan tweets.
UFC gets win with Spotify
Fans didn’t get to choose the fighter who won “The Ultimate Fighter: Live” season finale, but they did get a say in what music played as the fighters walked into the Octagon through a UFC partnership with Spotify. Allowing fans to select the show’s sound track was the next logical step, as the UFC has a track record of sending walk-out songs viral on social media. And according to the UFC, the TUF partnership was the most successful Spotify campaign of its kind.
Logging off, signing back on
Spanish soccer players were banned from using social media heading in to the Euro 2012 tournament. Several players announced the restrictions on June 1. However, the ban was short-lived and lifted after just three days.
By the numbers
Elsewhere in the social media sphere
Competitors in the Canadian track and field Olympic trials will feature their Twitter handles on their race bibs.
The NBA will present its first Social Media Awards on June 20.
Got a story we should feature? Have a site we should check out? Who's on your must-follow list? Tweet me at @BurnsOrtiz. If your idea gets mentioned in this column, so will you. Follow Playbook on Twitter at @ESPNPlaybook.