The 2013 European basketball championship in Slovenia might be remembered as the first one to be completely covered by the social media cloud. With Twitter developing every day new circles of connections, Eurobasket 2013 used it to reach out to media and people on another level. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube were constantly updated from the FIBA Europe staff, which worked non stop during the preparation and the execution of the whole tournament in Slovenia. Forward-minded and quite creative, the staff managed to communicate effectively with both the fans and media through its social channels.
The invention of the mascot Twitter account was by itself a clever move by Eurobasket organisation. @Lipko2013 was used to entertain the basketball community in Twitter, but the mascot in person created even more amusement for the fans in Slovenia. This time, the mascot became one true participant in the championship. Lipko will be remembered for quite some time with his crazy ideas and performances, such as jumping in the sea and sky-diving, ending with flying from the rooftop of the Stozice Arena to bring out the most precious trophy in European basketball for the award ceremony. So Lipko was not only a mascot, but one of the social media tools of FIBA Europe this summer. A successful tool – Lipko was sold out from the fan zone before the beginning of the last day of the championship, and ended with more than 3500 followers in just a couple of months of exsistence.
The Eurobasket official Twitter account itself attracted almost 12500 followers, sharing tons of pictures, videos and opinions. On Facebook the fanbase includes as much as 81 800 people.
The next Eurobasket – in 2015 – has the slogan “Jump forward”. But it seems like FIBA Europe has already did that, in the meaning of social media coverage. FIBA Europe interacted with everyone and everywhere, reaching fans and media in every corner of the continent, and probably even further parts of the world.
All the media, covering the event, also felt the social networking craze. Tweeting became the easiest way to express opinions, which, all connected, made the whole picture more vivid. Twitter became a field of a ongoing discussion of various basketball topics, with unlimited participants and onlookers.
Watching basketball along with Twitter is now a different experience. It started to occur in the previous NBA and Euroleague seasons and now was present in Eurobasket 2013. The first European basketball championship that can claim to be a real social network event.
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