A few hours ago, I watched “The Decision” on ESPN and Lebron made his announcement. He’s Miami bound. So, I decided to click over to the Heat’s official Twitter page to see what they had to say and I discovered the unimaginable. They were speechless. Hadn’t tweeted a peep in over six hours.
Where were they I asked? How could they not show up to their own party? Did the NBA make them sit on their thumbs? Nope, because other NBA teams were active even though things didn’t net out as they’d hoped.
This was their time to shine. The spotlight doesn’t get much warmer than this. It was important for them to have a presence especially in the HEAT of their moment. The team just spent nearly $300 million on three people and the World was talking about them.
This was a land grab. Brand new eager fans and old fans with renewed hopes were ready to take a step up on their loyal fan ladder. They would have loved to hear from the official voice of the team. Instead, they heard an outdated message. The Heat’s Twitter page was still trying to recruit D. Wade who announced 48 hours prior that he was committed to their team along with Bosh.
What happened to the human behind the brand? Did the social media intern go on vacation? Thumb sprain perhaps? Maybe the Twitter password was misplaced? Nope, because Facebook was the same. I was expecting to see a virtual pep rally or live video of Will Smith performing “Welcome to Miami.” but instead I heard crickets.
Wouldn’t it have been nice to have Chris Bosh and D. Wade streaming live from the court? Maybe a little Miami Thrice music playing up and under? J. Lo could have popped in to do the happy dance with crowned Heat dancers? They could have RT’d all the celebs who were celebrating, or simply expose the emotion inside the office. The Miami Heat was the glue to make a production like this happen and tell the story . . . virtually . . . live.
There were missed sponsorship opportunities as well. The Heat could have sold their twitter background, integrated marketing partners who are welcoming King James with open arms (and open checkbooks).
Then about an hour later, they arrived. Well, kinda. They shared the same quotes from their coach that we’re also live on TV. Fans want photos, exclusive video, things nobody else can hear, what insiders are saying, what it’s like to work in the front office right now . . . these are things that only the Heat could have provided. Nobody else on this planet had access like they did. Opportunity missed.
Lesson: This space is alive and it doesn’t turn off. You can’t disappear all of a sudden because fans will stop trusting you. Fans are GRADING you at all times.
And, the way Lebron and Dan Gilbert handled this is another post.