This was a tough one! With plenty to choose from, we narrowed it down to our ten favorite Twitter follows among the major U.S. sports leagues. We included at least one account from each of the major professional sports. That said- here’s our list in no particular order!
Los Angeles Kings (NHL)- 868k followers
The Los Angeles Kings (@LAKings) are one of the great Twitter follows in all of sports. The team ranks sixth in the National Hockey League (@NHL) on Twitter with 868k followers. Known for their keen sense of humor, they’re always entertaining whether winning or losing a game. A recent example is their response to a fan suggesting that they trade for a player from a rival team:
In the offseason, the team has been promoting their summer youth hockey camps and other charitable projects.
The LA Kings Ice Crew (@LAKingsIceCrew) also has a popular account, with 24.8k followers.
The LA Weekly did a nice feature a while back on a member of the team behind the account, Pat Donahue (@patatack).
Atlanta Hawks (NBA) – 599k followers
The Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) of the NBA (@NBA) are known for their expert use of emojis and gifs. They also do a great job responding to both fans and internet trolls.
As an organization, the Hawks showed their social media savvy and gained some notoriety for hosting “Swipe Right Night” and “Swipe Right 2.0,” selling ticket sales packages and offering meeting spaces for users of the popular dating app Tinder.
The Hawks cheerleaders also have an account, @ATLHawksCheer, which features information on tryouts and community events. The value of such an account might be questioned though, as it has just under 7k followers.
Seattle Sounders (MLS) – 249k followers
The Seattle Sounders (@SoundersFC) are one of the most well supported teams in all of North America, regardless of sport. They regularly average over 40,000 supporters per match. Their Twitter account is worthy of the fan base and has over 249k followers, ranking second in Major League Soccer (@MLS).
The team had fantastic coverage of the U.S. men’s national team win over Ecuador in the Copa America at their home venue of CenturyLink Field. It was certainly a plus that Seattle Sounder forward Clint Dempsey was named Man of the Match!
We really liked the separate account for matchday play-by-play: @LIVESounders
This allows fans to follow the club’s primary account without their feed getting bogged down by minute-to-minute match updates unless they want them. It should be noted that the @LIVESounders account has just 20.8k followers compared to 249k for the primary account.
Pittsburgh Steelers (NFL) – 1.34 million followers
The Pittsburgh Steelers (@Steelers) are one of the NFL’s (@NFL) most successful franchises, with a record six Super Bowl titles in their history. Their Twitter account ranks sixth in the league with 1.34 million followers and is a great source of interviews, pictures, and highlight clips.
When nearby Oakmont Country Club hosted the U.S. Open Golf tournament, the team posted a timely feature with Steeler’s quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and golfer Jim Furyk attempting trick shots at their home stadium, Heinz Field.
We also loved their separate social-based loyalty program: @SteelersUnite
The Steelers Nation Unite program encourages fan engagement and connection in return for team store offers, prizes, and even special access on game days. The account has 35.1k followers.
San Francisco Giants (MLB) – 1.11 million followers
The San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) are the fifth most popular account in Major League Baseball (@MLB). Given their proximity to Silicon Valley, it comes as no surprise that the team is a leader in the social space. Their account runs the range from ticket promotions, All-Star game voting, stats, highlights, and partnerships with companies such as Uber.
Team Vice President of Brand Development & Digital Media Bryan Srabian (@srabe) always has great insights on the sports industry and is a great follow on his own!
New York City Football Club (MLS) – 248k followers
Our second MLS club on the list is New York City Football Club (@NYCFC). NYCFC should be no strangers to European football fans as part of the City Football Group that includes Manchester City in the Premier League. That means season ticket members are able to participate in the “Cityzens” rewards program similar to that of Manchester City supporters.
The club has only been part of MLS since 2015 yet ranks third in the league with 248k followers. Those numbers likely boosted by their trio of popular European designated players in David Villa, Frank Lampard, and Andrea Pirlo. It comes as no surprise that reposts from those players are frequently spotted on the club’s Twitter feed.
One of our favorite features from the club is their “Best of #NYCFC” which reposts fan pictures from Twitter and Instagram. A match day example is the following from their victory against the Philadelphia Union on 6/20/16.
The club also has a separate Spanish-language account with 26.2k followers (@NYCFCEspanol)
and a Fan & Membership services account (@NYCFCHelp) with 2.6k followers.
The Golden State Warriors (NBA) – 2.21 million followers
Another San Francisco area franchise with close ties to Silicon Valley is the Golden State Warriors. The team did a fantastic job during the NBA Finals providing some quality GIFs and updates during the games. We loved their stats graphics and recognition of celebrity fans in attendance. NBA Finals tickets were a tough get, so it’s always a good idea to bring the arena experience to your fans at home.
The team was also classy in defeat to the Lebron James led-Cleveland Cavaliers
The Warriors charitable foundation has its own account: @GSWfoundation, with 1.6k followers.
We love to see solidarity among professional teams in a city, and the #BayAreaUnite theme was shared by the San Jose Sharks of the NHL and the San Francisco Giants of MLB. Despite losing in the NBA Finals, supportive tweets shared by the Sharks and Giants generated 7k retweets and close to 10k likes combined.
Carolina Panthers (NFL) – 1.67 million followers
The Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) are based in one of the smaller NFL markets in Charlotte, North Carolina, yet boast one of the league’s biggest followings, ranking fourth. It definitely helps to have a social media savvy Cam Newton (@CameronNewton) as your quarterback. Their #KeepPounding theme is always present among fan and player posts on game days. They also do an excellent job engaging with fans that tweet @ their account.
The team keeps fans updated with current happenings, showing a keen sense of humor. Losers in this year’s Super Bowl, the team posted a tweet offering to purchase a round of drinks in solidarity with fellow championship runner up Golden State Warriors of the NBA. The tweet garnered over 33,000 retweets and 39,000 likes.
The Los Angeles Dodgers (MLB) – 1.04million followers
The Los Angeles Dodgers boast the sixth largest Twitter following in MLB. We loved how they got creative with a recent starting lineup, including GIFs of the players as well as a static list.
Given the team’s location in Southern California, it also makes sense that they have their own Spanish-language account (@LosDodgers). The account has 19k followers, surprisingly fewer than the Spanish-language account of previously mentioned NYCFC.
They did an awesome job on Father’s Day, sharing not only images of players with their children, but also of fans throughout the ballpark with their fathers.
- The Montreal Canadiens (NHL) – 1.13 million followers
We couldn’t ignore the Canadian teams, so we chose one of the more historic franchises in professional sports, the Montreal Canadiens (@CanadiensMTL). The club boasts the third-highest Twitter following in the NHL.
French is Montreal’s official language, and the team’s twitter feed is in both English and French. Tweets are either duplicated or include both languages as character limits allow.
We liked seeing posts supporting the club’s fan rewards program, Club1909. Codes are shared on social media that fans can enter in their account to earn rewards points.
They also posted a really fun Father’s Day engagement for Club1909 members in which they could play a game to try and match players with their fathers. Unfortunately the game was members-only, so we didn’t get to play.
There are many worthy sports franchises in North America that could’ve made this list. We chose these for their sense of humor, creativity, and fan engagement. Share your favorite team accounts and posts with us by tweeting @Crowdsight_ !