It was only a matter of time before someone came up with this, BallinEurope supposes, and could be an interesting way to mobilize European fan bases this summer. An outfit called Coyle Media is now tracking the performance of professional sports teams and organizations on social networking media Facebook and Twitter pages.
The “Sports Fan Graph” lists about 250 organizations in nine sports, sortable by sport or overall, and simply updates the numbers daily. In basketball, the leader on the board is naturally the NBA (though BiE notes the site is not yet tracking Euroleague Basketball or FIBA follows) with nearly 5 million followers to its credit.
After that, well, things get interesting. Would you believe, for example, that the Purdue Boilermakers basketball team has more followers than nine NBA teams? They’re even out-Facebooking the Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat! And what does it mean to say that the Orlando Magic and Boston Celtics have a million followers on Facebook and Twitter, respectively, but are completely tanking (relatively) on the other ‘page?
The real eye-popper of the lot, though, is that pair of European teams sneaking into the Sports Fan Graph basketball top 35. Aaaaaaaaaand … you guessed it: Those two teams would be Zalgiris Kaunas (no. 22 overall with 40,346 followers) and Lietuvos Rytas (no. 34 with 14,156).
Coyle’s entire table for basketball runs directly below. The teams are ranked by number of overall followers, and individual rankings for Twitter and Facebook are listed in parentheses.
1. NBA (no. 1 on Twitter, no. 1 on Facebook)
2. Los Angeles Lakers (2,2)
3. Orlando Magic (3,6)
4. Boston Celtics (4,3)
5. Cleveland Cavaliers (5,4)
6. Chicago Bulls (6,5)
7. Denver Nuggets (11,7)
8. Phoenix Suns (7,8)
9. Dallas Mavericks (12,9)
10. Houston Rockets (9,11)
11. Portland Trailblazers (14,10)
12. Oklahoma City Thunder (20,12)
13. New York Knicks (10,14)
14. Utah Jazz (16,13)
15. San Antonio Spurs (8,16)
16. Toronto Raptors (23,15)
17. Milwaukee Bucks (26,17)
18. Golden State Warriors (33,18)
19. Sacramento Kings (19,19)
20. Miami Heat (13,22)
21. Philadelphia 76ers (21,21)
22. Zalgiris Kaunas (15,24)
23. Atlanta Hawks (22,23)
24. Purdue University Boilermakers (34,20)
25. New Jersey Nets (18,26)
26. Indiana Pacers (29,25)
27. Washington Wizards (28,28)
28. Los Angeles Clippers (17,31)
29. Charlotte Bobcats (30,27)
30. Memphis Grizzlies (27,30)
31. Minnesota Timberwolves (31,29)
32. Detroit Pistons (24,32)
33. New Orleans Hornets (25,33)
34. Lietuvos Rytas (32,34)
So does anyone else think this list isn’t comprehensive enough?
Right, so here’s the BallinEurope plan: If you know your team’s Twitter account name and can provide a Facebook page name or address, please do so in the comments field of this post. One BiE gets a few responses, we’ll start compiling our own “Followers” table.
Please note: This listing would be for *official sites only.* No fan pages, please!
Thanks to reader Andrea C. for the tip on this story!