Social Media Inspiration from the 2015 NBA Draft

Teams often come out swinging during big moments like the NBA Draft. With a captivated and engaged audience, it’s the perfect time to make a big social media splash. After following along during the first round, it was clear that many teams approached the night with a vision and plan; there was a lot of stellar social media content shared.

Below is a look at some of the best trends from teams during the 2015 NBA Draft First Round. There is sure to be some inspiration for your work in here:


Draft Graphics

Teams rolled out some great graphics as picks were announced. Teams, like the Lakers and Knicks, even hit send as the picks were announced. So speedy! It’s clear many of the teams prepped templates and prepared for all scenarios. This is key to winning on social in sports, no matter the event or situation. Below is a look at some of the great graphics from the draft.


Behind-the-Scenes Content

Behind-the-scenes content is always golden in sports. It brings your fans closer to the action, team and players. Below are some of the ways teams gave fans a glimpse inside the NBA Draft.


Creative Content

Several teams got creative with their content, which is always refreshing to see. Don’t get stuck in a content rut. Push the boundaries and think creatively!


Anticipation Graphics/Tweets

Several teams tap into fan anticipation. Right before a pick emotions are high, so on-the-clock graphics, countdowns, etc. are a good way to evoke emotion and get fans to share content.


Personal Messages

Several teams shared videos of their players sending personal messages to their fans. Video messages like this are a great way to showcase players’ personalities, while fostering a stronger connection with your fans online.




What were some of your favorite trends from the 2015 NBA Draft? Be sure to share them below!

Thanks for reading! 

50 Social Media Moments from NBA Teams During Round 1

The NBA consistently sets the bar as a league in social media, so it comes as no surprise that the teams stepped up during Round 1 of the NBA Playoffs. From clever copy to stellar video content, the coverage was consistently on point.

And even though Round 2 of the NBA Playoffs is in full swing, it’s not too late to reflect on the great social moments of the playoffs so far. Here are 50 memorable social media moments from teams during Round 1 (in no particular order). It’s hard to capture all the great moments, but this list at least shows why NBA teams continuously get praise for their social media work. Enjoy!


1- Hawks Make it About Family

The Hawks always find unique ways to rally their fans. As the playoffs kicked off, they asked fans to change their last name on Twitter to “Hawks”. It’s great to see teams use unique call-to-actions because it builds a strong sense of community among fans.


2- Strength in Numbers Video Series

The Warriors have produced fantastic video content this season. One series that stands out is “Strength in Numbers”, chronicling their season in chapters. The Warriors have continued the series into the post-season and the content continues to get stronger and stronger. The series does a great job of hyping up fans, tapping into emotion and telling a piece of the story. Below is a look at three “Strength in Number” videos created for Round 1. Together these videos had more than 400,000 views on Facebook:


3- Brooklyn Nets Use Storify to Provide Players’ POV

The Brooklyn Nets created a Storify featuring tweets and social content from their players during Round 1. Players are obviously a huge part of a team’s story and this example is a great way to leverage them, their stories and point of view. See the Storify here.

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4- Pelicans Use a Simple But Powerful Pairing

Content does not have to be labor intensive from a creative point of view. This example from the Pelicans shows how strong copy with a strong image can resonate with fans, with or without design work.


5- Hawks Have Fun With Post-It Notes

The Hawks had a little fun in the office, so they used the opportunity to create social content. This is a great example of how content opportunities are all around. Keep your eyes and ears open and get creative!


6- Cavs Thanks Fans & Look Ahead

Once the Cavs secured a spot in the Playoffs, they released a video thanking their fans and looking towards the playoffs. The video features the players saying “thanks”. It would be easy to have two different cuts of this video ready to go– one if the team makes it and one if the team does not. The video is a great example of planning ahead with content and catering to your fans:


7- Bulls Let Artists Take the Reigns

The Chicago Bulls have one of the sharpest Instagram accounts in the NBA. Their look is fresh, clean but also dramatic. Take a look through their photos at the engagement and you’ll see that the content resonates with fans too.

During Game 1 the Bulls let two artists takeover their Instagram account. The artists’ style fit the team’s look and feel, and they ended up producing stellar content for them. This is a great example of leveraging influencers creatively!


Our fans #SeeRed (photo @nopattern)

A post shared by Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) on


Big time under the bright lights. #SeeRed (photo @nopattern)

A post shared by Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) on


See you at the top. #SeeRed (photo @nopattern)

A post shared by Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) on


8- Brooklyn Suits Up

Inside access is important in sports, but access doesn’t have to be intrusive. This picture from the Brooklyn Nets is a great example of giving fans a peek behind the curtain without being invasive:


9- Spurs Create Quickly

The Spurs were able to tweet out this celebratory graphic for Kawhi Leonard during the game and it got great traction. It’s a good example of the need to turn out quick, sharp graphics during milestones and moments of celebration. Creating templates can help ease the process and turnaround time.


10- LA Clippers Create Time-lapse Video

When thinking through a content plan, it’s important to figure out how to differentiate the content and provide a unique point of view. Time-lapse videos, like this one from the @LAClippers, are one way to do so:


11- Cavs Hype Kids Wins

This hype video is everything. Not only is this hype video fantastic, but the Cavs asked fans to create their own hype video. It’s a great example of thinking outside the box, having fun and getting fans engaged with a call to action.


12- Warriors Nail Heartbeat Tweet

This is the social media content trifecta: The perfect image, the perfect copy and the perfect timing. This is a great post from the Warriors!


13- Nets Movie-like Promo

This short playoff clip on Instagram feels like a vintage movie promo. It’s great to see teams mix up the type of content they share and try different themes. Differentiation is key from standing out in all the noise.

The journey begins… #Nets #WeArePlayoffs

A post shared by Brooklyn Nets (@brooklynnets) on


14- Cavs Prove Simple Is Often Best

The Cavs have shared emotional team pictures with simple one-word statements throughout the first round that have performed well across platforms. It’s a great example of how simple is often powerful.


15- Mavs Give Fans a Pass

Excuse notes like this from the Mavs are not new idea, but they are still a great opportunity to empower fans to share content. If a team finds itself on the big stage, it’s important to share content that encourages fans to rally.


16- Spurs Show What It Means To Represent

When covering a game, it is important to keep eyes and ears open. What’s the extraordinary in the ordinary? This photo used from the Spurs is a great example of finding the unusual in the arena and turning it into stellar social content.


17- Cavs Serve As the Eyes & Ears

The Cavs social media team caught a video of the players shaking hands after the game. This little piece of content is a small glimpse into the chemistry and camaraderie of the team. It’s so important to be at the right place at the right time to capture these moments for fans.


Sweep complete! Bring on the East Semis … #ALLinCLE #CavsCeltics

A post shared by Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) on



18- Trail Blazers Journey Begins Tonight

The Trail Blazers created a fantastic promo video for the start of the playoffs featuring the voices of the players, their insight and how they felt about the games ahead. This is a different take on the normal game highlight promo videos we see; it’s strong because it taps into the emotional side of the team.


19- The Clippers Lay It All On the Line

This is another great example of the perfect image and copy choice. Simple wins, so don’t overthink it.


20- Spurs Share Simple Quote

There’s absolutely nothing fancy about this, but it still got 23K+ interactions. The emotion in the quote does all the work. Remember, not everything has to be labor intensive. If the content taps into emotions then people will engage with it.

A post shared by San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) on



21- Grizzlies Practice Good Sportsmanship

Showing good sportsmanship is a great way to humanize the team and account. This is a good example from the Grizzlies.


22- Warriors Get Clever

This photo is a result of a social media manager thinking cleverly on her feet. It’s also a great example of creating fun content that resonates with fans without being edgy. So well done!


23- Mavs Have Fantastic Creative

Not every piece of social content needs to have a lot of creative behind it, but it’s always good when teams think creatively about certain graphic series. The Mavs have some fantastic creative for their score graphics, game plugs, etc.




24- Trail Blazers Stay On Brand With GIFS

GIFS are a great way to a make statement through content. The Trail Blazers do a great job of taking their own video footage and splicing it for some on-brand GIF fun. This is a great way to resonate with fans without resorting to pop culture GIFS.


25- Hawks Give Fans Hope

The Hawks tapped into the hope of the season, finding an emotional storyline for this playoff video. The message ties in nicely with their True Believer slogan. It’s one of those sports videos that will give you goosebumps (and it had 185,000+ views on Facebook).


26- Spurs Share Notable Fan Content

Many teams have fans who are celebrities/influencers. It’s important to monitor the conversation around teams and engage or share influencer content when there’s an opportunity.


27- Nets Highlight Fan Photos

The Brooklyn Nets put together a simple but cute Instagram video featuring fan photos. User-generated content is a great way to build community, thank fans and create content in a cost-effective manner.

Best fans in the league. We're ready for Game 2. #Nets #WeArePlayoffs #Brooklyn

A post shared by Brooklyn Nets (@brooklynnets) on


28- Trail Blazers Waste No Time

After their season-ending loss, the Trail Blazers wasted no time thanking their fans. They didn’t just have a graphic and copy ready; they had a video ready to share. The video got more than 300 retweets on Twitter alone. It’s a great example of being prepared.


29- Rockets GIFs Get a Little Crazy

It’s hard to know what to think of this GIF exactly. It is on brand though and certainly stands out. Nonetheless, it seems appropriate for this list because it is so… different (plus, fans seemed to like it).


30- Celtics Keep Game Time Simple

The simplicity in these game graphics make for a powerful statement from the Celtics. They evoke a certain nervousness (in a good way) and help fans imagine the calm before it all. It’s another great example of how simple can be powerful.

Game time. #LetsGoCeltics

A post shared by Boston Celtics (@celtics) on

Game time. #LetsGoCeltics

A post shared by Boston Celtics (@celtics) on


31- Rockets Use Hashtags to Make a Statement

At first glance there is nothing fancy about the copy or graphic from this @HoustonRockets tweet. Look closer though: The hashtag seals the deal with perfection punctuation. Hashtags, used sparingly, can make a great statement.


32- Trail Blazers Have Emoji Game

Emojis have become all the rage online. In fact, they are replacing slang on the Internet. Emojis can be a great way to spice up your content when used sparingly and strategically. This tweet from the Trail Blazers is a great example of how to use emojis right. It is cool, effortless and on point.


33- Warriors Plug Tickets the Right Way

When pushing ticket sales out on social, it’s important to pull people in with a strong piece of content. How are you going to get their attention? A hard sell alone won’t work. This tweet from the Warriors is a great example of plugging ticket sales the right way; it features a video of Curry along with the link to buy tickets.


34- The Bulls Showcase Staff

It’s rare for fans to get a peek behind the curtain of front office staff. The Bulls found the perfect opportunity to showcase a glimpse of life for their staffers while resonating with their fans. It’s all about the copy and tapping into the emotion of being “ready”.


35- Rockets With the Perfect Pair

This is just another great example of strong imagery with strong copy. Again and again simple wins.


36- The Nets Lets the Image Work

Sometimes there is a perfect picture waiting for the perfect moment. This from the Brooklyn Nets is a great example of that.


37- The Bulls Arrive

Many of the teams in the NBA are good at showcasing their players arriving to the venue, in style of course. Below are a few examples from the Bulls. As you can see, this small piece of behind-the-scenes content resonates with fans.


38- The Clippers Fly Away

A large part of working in social media and sports is telling a story, from practice to travel to the game. This is a great example of telling that story in a subtle way. It’s a generic plane shot, yet it got more than 17,000 likes. Why? Because fans want to be a part of the journey and this post was a simple way to bring them into it.


39- Bulls Design for the Platforms

Too often we see teams creating one set of graphics for every platform. The Bulls are one of the few that actually design for each one, making the content much easier to consume.

#BullsWin to take 3-0 series lead! #SeeRed

A post shared by Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) on

40- Spurs Go Twining

This is exactly how it sounds: Combining tweets with singing. And yes, it’s utterly brilliant.


41- LA Clippers Start With a Perfect Picture

Sometimes no caption is needed. This is a perfect example of that.


42- Raptors GIF, Literally

This is a good example of using a pop culture GIF that’s on brand. If anyone can get away with a GIF of running dinosaurs, it’s the Raptors. Fans loved it too.


43- LA Clippers Share a Great Moment

It’s so important for social media managers to be the eyes and ears of their fans. This picture from the LA Clippers is a great example of taking your fans behind-the-scenes for more intimate moments. A strong piece of content!


44- Pelicans Handle a Loss Through Sportsmanship

Handling a loss is no easy feat, but this is a good example of how to handle one. Show sportsmanship!


45- Warriors Snapchat Scavenger Hunt

In the days leading up to the Warriors’ first home playoff game, the team gave away playoff tickets and prizes on Snapchat through a scavenger hunt. This is a great way to engage with fans on the platform.


46- Trail Blazers Going up, on a Tuesday

Everyone likes good lyrics in their life. When the moment is right, don’t be afraid to bust them out (or a rhyme).

Going up, on a Tuesday.

A post shared by Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) on


47- Raptors Leverage Facebook Photo Albums

After every game, the Raptors shared a photo album of action shots. This is a great way to recap the game and give fans content to consume. Don’t forget to leverage Facebook albums when you have a broad story to tell!

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48- Bucks Follow Up a Big Win Accordingly

Timing is everything. When the Bucks beat the Bulls in by a buzzer shot from Bayless, they immediately posted two videos on Facebook. The first was a raw video view of the bench as the team ran to the court and the second was a clip of the game-winning shot.. The quick turnaround on this videos was key for the Bucks— tapping into fans’ emotions while they are high.

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49- Celtics Give Due to Their Fans

Fans are the heartbeat of your community. It’s important to show them thanks, especially as the season comes to an end. This graphic from the Celtics is a great example of how to do so.

Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 11.41.18 PM


50- Raptors Photo Gets a Treatment

The unique color treatment on this Instagram post made the content stand out. The picture has one of the higher engagement rates in recent weeks. It’s a great reminder that it’s important to mix things up.

It's begun. #WeTheNorth #RTZ

A post shared by Toronto Raptors (@raptors) on


What moments stand out to you from Round 1 of the NBA Playoffs? Be sure to share your thoughts below!

Thanks for reading!