Before this season, I didn’t have a favorite Western Conference NBA team. My hometown Detroit Pistons are in the Eastern Conference and I just didn’t have any team I really rooted for in the west. Now I do and it truly has to do with their social media presence and the amazing things they are doing off the court, but it also doesn’t hurt that the Suns are having a good season.
I have been using Twitter since August and the number of Phoenix Suns employees on Twitter has steadily increased since I joined. I follow each one. Not only does it give useful insight into job duties of various positions within a professional sports team, but it gives you a sense for the culture of the organization. I have been thoroughly impressed with the twitterers representing the team.
Here is a list of the Suns twitterers (please let me know if I missed anyone): PhoenixSuns (official team Twitter account), SunsPRGirl (Public Relations Manager), SunsPRDiva (VP of Basketball Communications), PhxSunsGorilla (Mascot), PhxSunsCreative, SunsBizDiva (Sr. VP of Marketing Partnerships), SunsBlogger (Blogger/Web Analyst), PhoenixSunsGirl (Digital Media and Research Director), The_Real_Shaq (Shaquille O’Neal), SunsWebmaster (VP of Interactive Services), SunsWebGeek (Web Designer), and Chinkle (IT).
So if that isn’t cool enough, the Suns hosted their own Tweetup (meetup of twitterers & the first to be hosted by a NBA team) on January 16th. Shaq and GM Steve Kerr even stopped by to say hi to the 125 participants. You can check out a few photos from the event here, here, and here.
Why do I admire all that the Suns organization so much? They aren’t just using technology and social media to use it. Instead, they are pushing their brand in ways that engage their fans and allow the fans to get to know the team better. Fans can go online to the Suns website and read a blog post written by a player or they can go on Twitter and see what one of the employees is up to. You get the sense that while the organization obviously wants to win, they have fun working towards that goal and truly love what they do. If a girl from Detroit is now rooting for the Suns in the Western Conference, how much will this improve fan relations among those individuals actually living in Arizona?