When I moved from Los Angeles to Seattle in 2006, one of the exciting pieces of my new life was supposed to be an NBA franchise in my new hometown. The Seattle SuperSonics are an incredible team, with young budding stars, but there’s one problem. For some reason, they play their home games in Oklahoma City. Confused? I was too.
For such an educated city, Seattle could not figure out a way to keep their beloved Sonics, and so it went, years without an NBA team to call our own. That is, until recently. Chris Hansen, a hedge fund manager with over $1B in holdings, decided to come back to his roots, and committed to moving a team to the Seattle area. Recently, it became more clear that this team would be the Sacramento Kings. The Kings franchise is located in Sacramento. It is owned by the Maloof family, known for the Palms Casino. I’m not sure I need to go into any more detail than that.
The SuperSonics have used social media skillfully through Spring, 2013 to build momentum for the team’s impending move. First, they became far more active on Twitter, commenting about updates regarding Hansen’s moves to acquire a team. Additionally, they posed links to mockups of the arena, and most recently started a frenzy by posting the site sonicsarena.com on their feed. This generated enormous buzz around the area.
An important note is that the Twitter feed for @SeattleSonics is run by a fan, not an official group. That being said, it has 4,600 followers. There is also @SonicsArena with 16k followers and @BringBackSonics with 10,300 followers. I would be surprised if we didn’t see these feeds merge in the near future for branding and simplicity’s sake.
Just today (and tomorrow) the Hansen group will make a presentation on the idea of bringing a team to Seattle. The fans are attempting to nationally trend #Sonics and #SeattleSonics. One noticing I had about this is the competing hash tags. It will be difficult for the group to unify their ideas, and trend at the top, without a unified hash tag to go along with it. We’ll see, I would argue that #Sonics will win out.