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Thursday, November 18, 2010
Updated: November 19, 1:58 PM ET
NBA teams create social media rivalries

By Ryan Corazza
Special to ESPN.com

The Denver Nuggets beat the New York Knicks on Tuesday night in Denver.

Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony and the Nuggets won Tuesday's game against the Knicks and they're leading in Facebook likes.

But there was also another battle won by the Nuggets.

Yes, yes: The teams tossed together a little social media battle at nuggetsvsknicks.com in anticipation of Tuesday's game.

Participation was simple: Fans were encouraged to give a Facebook "like" to their team of choice on the site. The team with the most likes won the battle.

The site was still active at the time this story was published, and the Nuggets had nearly doubled up the Knicks (914 likes to 566 likes).

While these certainly aren't huge numbers, the battle also encouraged fans to use the teams' Twitter hash tags -- #nuggets and #knicks -- to talk trash on the platform. (Cleanly, of course.)

Between the like and hash-tag encouragements, the showdown was an idea that succeeded in drumming up some increased exposure for the teams in the social streams -- an important goal in a space that's filled with an endless amount of content, publicity and opinion.

Well, hello, Tiger

One of the Twitter holdouts I noted in an August Jock-o-sphere has now joined the fray: Tiger Woods.

Tiger Woods
Gaining a bunch of new followers on Twitter should boost Tiger Woods' self-esteem.

The @tigerwoods handle has actually been active since June 26, 2009, but it laid dormant until Wednesday when the golfer began updating the verified account. And as we've seen with big names -- such as LeBron James -- that have joined the service in 2010, Woods' follower numbers immediately soared, as he currently has 214,000-plus at the time this story was published.

"What's up everyone. Finally decided to try out twitter!" read his first tweet.

"Yep, it's me. I think I like this twitter thing," read the second. "You guys are awesome. Thanks for all the love."

Woods' addition to Twitter didn't come with the caveat of a big announcement or endorsement to promote; he simply hopped on and thanked people for their support.

But it does appear to be part of an image rehabilitation plan.

This week, Woods also penned a confessional first-person piece for Newsweek, in which he wrote his "life was out of balance, and [his] priorities were out of order" and that "I know now that some things can and must change with time and effort."

The golfer also expressed gratitude to all his fans who have been supportive of him.

Woods was a guest by phone on ESPN Radio's "Mike and Mike in the Morning" on Thursday, and when asked why he became active on Twitter and wrote the piece for Newsweek, he responded as such.

"I think it's about time I kind of basically made a connection to the fans who have been absolutely incredible to me the past year," Woods said. "I've gone through some pretty rough times, there were pretty low moments, but I just want to say thank you to them."

In a year when his brand took a blow and his golf game has struggled, connecting with supportive and nonsupportive fans via a more personal side on Twitter could certainly aid in re-endearing him to the masses -- a bit of image rehabilitation in the social media age.

Woods' only tweet Thursday, which referenced the Mike and Mike interview: "The best part about phone interviews is getting to wear shorts."

Warriors court social media journalists

Following up on their Tweedia Day, the Warriors announced last week they're now inviting "social media journalists" to apply for the opportunity to gain access to the team in what they're dubbing the "Warriors Social Media 3-Point Play."

If selected, those three points of access include a team practice, shootaround and a credential to a game at the team's home stadium, Oracle Arena.

This sort of thing isn't new; several professional sports teams have opened up access to nontraditional news outlets, and the Indians opened up the Tribe Social Deck this past MLB season -- though an invitation to that seems to have looser guidelines than the Warriors' new offering.

Ryan Corazza is a freelance writer and Web designer based in Chicago who also contributes to ESPN Insider's NBA Rumor Central.