NBA Rookie Brandon Jennings was recently fined $7,500 by the league office according to a recent post by J.E. Skeets at Yahoo. From the image you can see that the Bucks Rookie was excited about his teams recent win that got his team to a .500 winning percentage with the end of the Tweet stating “Way to Play Hard Guys.” Jennings was fined for the timing of his post, rather than what he Tweeted.
The NBA’s social media policy states that players cannot tweet during game time, defined as beginning 45 minutes before the game starts and ending after players have finished talking to the media after the game.
Jennings was a bit befuddled: “I understand I got fined, but 7500? For being happy over a win, you would of thought I said something bad. I mean it was a big win for us.”
As the NBA is a form of entertainment my guess is that if ratings and attendance continue to drop, don’t be surprised if they loosen this policy a bit to allow the fan base to have a more intimate relationship with the players in the hopes of building a loyal following for its product (games). We saw this earlier in the year with the Ladies Golf Tour (LPGA) – where the commissioner was encouraging golfers to tweet during the event. Male golf Stewart Cink (@stewartcink) has over one million followers as a result of tweets like “Yeah much tougher hole. One of golf’s best tee shots, but not my favorite green.” Speaking of green, ultimately that is what will probably shape most sports leagues social media policies – what drives the most revenue; especially during these tough times.
By Erik Qualman