Brooklyn Nets’ Digital Presence Has Skyrocketed

Digital chief Jayne Bussman-Wise explains how

Headshot of James Cooper


Who Jayne Bussman-Wise

Age 31

New gig Digital director, Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center

Old gig Manager, marketing and digital programs, New York Rangers

How large is your social fan base?

We’re almost to 900,000 on Facebook. When we came over from New Jersey it was under 170,000, so the growth we’ve seen from New Jersey to Brooklyn in a year is just incredible.

What platform is most effective in communicating with your fans?

Facebook reaches the most people for us, but Twitter is also so important because it’s real time and where news is breaking. We actually have a Twitter reporter who is at all our games and press conferences.

What have been some of the most important social teaching moments for you in Brooklyn?

The brand launch. To be a part of that was unlike anything I’ve ever done in my career, and social was an integral part of it. We teased out the social campaign with billboards that just said #hellobrooklyn. It really drove the conversation, so much so that we launched merchandise with that hashtag on it. And [recently] we clinched a playoff spot, so we launched #helloplayoffs to aggregate all the postseason conversation.

Is there anything intrinsic to Brooklyn that makes your job easier?

Brooklyn is inherently early adopting and innovative. … It’s also a basketball borough. There are so many courts that it’s a natural tie-in.

Are there any tools out there that you haven’t used but intrigue you?

Google Glass. I saw it at South by Southwest, and I can’t wait to get my hands on that and see what the brand and team could do with it. With the WiFi and connectivity in our arena, the possibilities are endless.

Is there anything particular to the NBA in terms of its social graph?

The NBA embraced digital from the start from a league perspective, supporting teams and players on Twitter and Instagram, knowing that this is a way to engage our fans and build our brands. We have weekly digital calls and we discuss what products are out there.

How is the stadium set up to encourage social chatter?

We have free open WiFi in the building and we have enough bandwidth so it’s as fast as anything you would have at home, with the idea that we want fans to be able to share their experience on Facebook and Twitter. We’ve also created mobile apps for the Nets and the Barclays Center. With the [latter], through Cisco StadiumVision Mobile [the only arena with this service], we provide four in-arena camera angles, and that you can only get when you are in the building. We always are talking about using technology to enhance the fan experience.

When is the best time for you to tweet/post during a game?

We see great social engagement during a close game during the fourth quarter. There have been a lot of studies recently that show social media can drive TV ratings and tune-in, and for us it’s how do we let our fans know and drive folks who might not be watching to turn the game on?

You played hoops in college at Brandeis. If you could play half court with anyone, who would it be?

Knowing that the president is such a basketball fan, I’d say Barack Obama, because of the conversation while playing. Or Will Ferrell.

NBA player?

Larry Bird.

Bussman-Wise will discuss social strategy as part of Adweek’s Brand Genius Think Tank, April 2, in partnership with Time Warner at the Time Warner Center in New York.

@jcoopernyc James Cooper is editorial director of Adweek.