2017 was a memorable year in the basketball world.
There were moments of dominance like the Beermen’s growing dynasty or the San Beda’s continued reign over the NCAA. There were redemption stories like Ateneo reclaiming the UAAP from La Salle crown or the Golden State Warriors erasing their 3-1 curse from last year with a chip this year. There were teams and players that emerged from out of nowhere. The Lyceum Pirates not only won games but they changed lives while Alvin Pasaol scored 49 points, cementing his cult legend status.
The basketball played on court wasn’t too bad as well. Russ averaged a triple-double, Ben Mbala wrecked rims, and Ginebra set attendance records in the Governor’s Cup Finals.
To close out a great year, the SLAM PH team recalls their favorite moments in 2017 and their basketball wishes for the new year.
Look, I enjoy seeing Terrence Romeo break ankles just as much as the next person. I’m just like every Ginebra fan who screamed “EL-AYYYYY” during Game 7 of the 2017 PBA Governor’s Cup. I live for June Mar Fajardo doing June Mar Fajardo things.
But I’m also the kind of PBA fan who tweeted “#MANONGMOVES” after Kiefer Ravena’s fantastic pro debut. I will always RT that crazy Rudy Hatfield speech no matter when or how many times it comes up on my timeline. And one of my favorite June Mar Things is the time he posted a selfie video on Instagram where he’s parasailing in Boracay, just flying through the air, while doing an acapella cover of Matisyahu. In this day and age, the basketball scene isn’t just on the court, it’s also online.
So here’s my question. Why are the PBA teams’ fan-made social media accounts more active than the official ones? Why does the fan account @barangayginebra have 191,000 followers, while the official Twitter account has…wait, there’s no official Twitter account. Which is not to say that fan accounts aren’t great—they can be savage in ways that official accounts never could—but an official account operated with the resources and access to the players like those in the NBA isn’t just a treat for fans but an important branding and PR tool for modern sports teams.
Back when I worked as a social media manager, I used to joke that I’d offer my services for free if it meant getting to hang out at practice and document teams’ shenanigans. Unfortunately, I’m older now and have bills to pay, so sorry, the pro-bono window has expired. But on the off-chance that team management is reading this article, here are some ideas for the PBA social media project.
1. Cinematic Tribute Videos
Fans will stitch together top plays to make tribute videos anyway, but imagine if the official team account drops a well-produced tribute video with Legitimate Cinematography on a player’s birthday or retirement, complete with motion graphics of career stats. Management wants product placement? Just include one shot of them clinking a beer with their favorite teammates (SMB), driving off into the sunset (Kia), switching on the lights at the gym (Meralco).
Imagine if JayJay Helterbrand got a “Fast and the Furious” tribute video upon his retirement. Imagine if they hired Jason Magbanua to shoot the bromance shots of Helterbrand and Caguioa. Cue music: It’s been a loooong daaaay…
2. Courtside closeups You know those hyper-closeup videos that the GSW Instagram account posts where KD stares into the depths of your soul/the camera before starting his warmup? We want those little moments just before they step into view of the TV crew—special. But really, we just want the handshakes and pregame daps.
Staff Sergeant Raul A. Perez Rodriguez was honored as part of the @Delta season-long Salute To Our Troops program and met the team yesterday pic.twitter.com/vKGGMP0t7Q — Lakers Community (@LakersCommunity) December 30, 2017
3. Contests and good deeds
Want more people to watch your games live? Turn it into a game. Ask fans to tweet their in-arena photos during a game with the team’s hashtag for a chance to win signed jerseys or a meet-and-greet invite. Next level: DM the winner and actually give their prize at halftime!
It’s also awesome to see when teams go beyond the basketball court to interact with their fans. The NBA does a good job of this showing moments with teams and children, fans who are proposing, especially men and women from the military. It’s heartwarming moments like these that endear fans to their teams.
— Cycle (@bycycle) April 18, 2017
4. Petty Warz
If there’s one thing we learned from the ride-sharing app Angkas in 2017, it’s that the Filipino market is ready for brands to speak in a funny (non-corporate-vanilla) way online.
I’m not saying PBA teams should be uniformly dropping hugot lines and self-deprecating humor, though—and on that note, can we please leave hugot lines in 2017? That could work for the bottom-ranked teams and their fans, but it would actually be more fun for teams to go the other direction and get a lil bit petty.
I just want SMB to tweet a photo of a San Miguel Pale Pilsen after eliminating an opponent: “Iinom niyo na lang yan.”
Please, God, may you bless us with a Ginebra Instagram account that supplies up with Joe DeVance dance videos on the regular. And Joe, if you’re reading this, you’re more than welcome to use the hashtag.
READ: 2017 Basketball Wrap-up