The NBA has added its Twitter handle -- @NBA -- to its official Spalding game ball in advance of the 2014-15 season.
The modest, digital-friendly tweak appears to the left of the iconic Jerry West logo underneath the words "Official Game Ball." NBA commissioner Adam Silver's signature appears to the right of the West logo.
“Our fans know @NBA is a must-follow for unprecedented access to our game, more insight into our teams, and unique behind-the-scenes content with our players throughout the entire year,” NBA VP of digital media Melissa Rosenthal Brenner said in a statement. “The ball is the instantly recognizable symbol of our game, and now our fans have a place there too, where they belong.”
Back in February, the NBA began using game balls bearing Silver's signature, after he took the office from former commissioner David Stern, who resigned after 30 years on the job. Other than the @NBA addition, the 2014-15 game ball will remain the same as the one used last season.
The NBA becomes the first major professional league to include its Twitter handle on its game ball. Various NBA teams have incorporated their social media account names along the sidelines of their courts and on various apparel items. Last year, the Warriors donned shooting shirts that included their players' Twitter handles.
Among the four major American professional sports leagues, the NBA has long enjoyed a healthy edge when it comes to social media presence. The NBA's official account currently has 10.8 million followers, outpacing the National Football League (7 million), Major League Baseball (3.7 million) and the National Hockey League. (2.6 million).
Additionally, Cavaliers forward LeBron James has more than 13.8 million Twitter followers, tops among all athletes playing in the four major American sports leagues. James and Lakers guard Kobe Bryant both ranked among the most retweeted sports tweets of 2013.