As the Cleveland Cavaliers face the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, it marks LeBron James’ fifth consecutive NBA championship appearance.
The last player to appear in five consecutive NBA Finals was Bill Russell in 1966.
What is almost as impressive as LeBron’s on-the-court achievements, is what he has accomplished off the court from a marketing perspective.
Let’s have a look at 8 extraordinary social media facts about LeBron James.
1. Has a Twitter following bigger than the population of most countries
Not only is LeBron the most followed player in the NBA, the kid from Akron has the 33rd most Twitter followers in the world at 21.5 million.
Katy Perry has the most followers on the planet, with 70.5 million and the second most followed NBA player on Twitter is Kevin Durant with 10.3 million followers.
2. Has more than 10 million Instagram followers
If you have watched LeBron James during the playoffs, it is evident that his game is multidimensional. He can drive to the hoop like a freight train, but he also has amazing passing abilities. Getting him regularly compared to Magic Johnson.
His social media game is multidimensional as well. King James has 10.4 million Instagram followers.
This makes him the 34th most popular person on Instagram in the world.
The most popular account?
The official Instagram account has 73 million followers, which seems a little biased!
Beyonce and Kim Kardashian each have 34 million followers.
Even LeBron is frightened by the Dentist! Image courtesy of @KingJames Instagram account
3. Rakes in $126,500 per Tweet
Not long ago, Darren Rovell tweeted that the market value for a LeBron James Tweet was $126,500.
These numbers were reported by opendorse. It is important to note that these are not the figures that are currently paid to athletes and celebrities; these are simply market value amounts based on exposure.
In essence, LeBron James’ Twitter account is an online billboard.
Good choice by Trainwreck to feature LeBron in their movie! They knew the value of his Tweets!
4. Goes offline during the playoffs
Did you know that during the playoffs, LeBron James goes off the grid in regards to his social media activity?
That’s right, Mr. James wants no distractions, so he doesn’t tweet or post photos until the postseason is completed.
According to Yahoo!, LeBron James ditched his phone during the 2012 playoffs, when LeBron led the Miami Heat to win an NBA Championship.
After losing to the Mavericks in the 2011 NBA Finals, LeBron James sat in his house for two weeks. No contact with anyone, no social media, no phone, no nonsense.
He sat with just his thoughts for two weeks.
Fast-forward to the 2012 NBA Playoffs, where LeBron initiated his first-ever ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ mode, where he avoids his phone, Twitter, Instagram, and all other potential distractions.
Two months later, James was an NBA Champion after defeating the Thunder in five games.
James did the same against the Spurs in 2013 and came out an NBA Champion again.
Now in Cleveland, James has activated his lock-in mode where he avoids social media and the rest of the outside noise, saying:
The message LeBron posted prior to his social hiatus in the 2015 NBA Playoffs
5. Almost broke Twitter one time
When LeBron James announced he would be returning to Cleveland for a second stint with the Cavaliers, he made the decision in a Sports Illustrated article title, “I’m Coming Home.”
According to CNBC, LeBron James nearly broke Twitter.
James broke the news in Sports Illustrated, in an article titled “I’m Coming Home.” As of 3PM ET, there have been over 2.5 million Tweets mentioning King James since the news was released, according to Twitter.
He coordinated his social accounts to release simultaneous messages as the article was released.
His Instagram photo was his most popular of all time, receiving 928K “Likes.”
LeBron’s Instagram post after announcing his return to Cleveland
6. Is rocking Facebook with over 20 million followers
Similar to how he dominates on Twitter and Instagram, LeBron takes the throne compared to his NBA peers on Facebook.
King James has 21.6 million followers on Facebook, the most amongst NBA players.
Kobe Bryant is within striking distance though, with 20 million followers of his own on Facebook.
Michael Jordan has more followers than LeBron James, at 26 million followers.
The irony is that MJ hasn’t made a Facebook post since June 9, 2009!
LeBron James’ Facebook Profile Picture
7. Is kicking it with big time endorsements
According to Forbes, LeBron James is the king of the NBA.
LeBron is the NBA’s biggest endorsement star, thanks to deals with Nike, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Upper Deck, Beats and more.
Research firm SportsOneSource says that in 2013, sales of his signature Nike shoes topped sales among active players at $300 million in the U.S.
His jersey was also the NBA’s best-selling merchandise.
LeBron’s endorsement deals more than double his 2015 NBA salary of $21.57 million.
No doubt his sponsors aren’t utilizing his social media accounts to get real bang for their buck.
LeBron James loves his fries! Image courtesy of Cavsnation.com
8. Has the viral touch on YouTube
When LeBron James was a member of the Miami Heat, a fan threw a one-handed hook shot from half court and made it for $75,000, much to the delight of all the fans and players in the arena – especially LeBron, who stormed the court and tackled him!
The video was posted to YouTube, and if you search “LeBron James”, it is the most popular video in the search results.
This memorable moment has been seen by nearly 33 million people!
LeBron is clearly the King on and off the basketball court.
As he continues to dominate on the basketball court, there is a direct correlation between his on-court performance and the success of his social media activities; including social accounts with a combined 50-million plus followers.
The real question is whether the King can eventually pass the Queen on Twitter (Katy Perry), who has more than double his amount of followers.