“The Last Dance” and MJ Bring ’90s Bulls Fandom to our Timeline Feeds
Over the last month, the world, and especially Michael Jordan fans (but is there really a difference?) experienced and watched, “The Last Dance”, a documentary that covers the 6-time NBA World Champion Chicago Bulls dynasty while also looking at the iconic career of Michael Jordan. With sports postponed around the globe (for four out of the five weekends – Bundesliga and Nascar came back May 16 and May 17), the documentary was must watch television.
Everyone was a fan for five straight Sundays — yes, us, regular folks (raise your hand), but also athletes, celebrities, and reporters. We all jumped on the Chicago Bulls – Michael Jordan fan train. The hashtag #TheLastDance trended on Twitter, Jordan sneakers sold out, and players, teams, and media companies posted their favorite Bulls/Jordan memories and attire. It’s somewhat fitting that during a global pandemic, the one man to bring the world together would be MJ.
Let’s take a look at the Bulls and Jordan data we geeked out on.
The Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan go hand-in-hand. With the series premiering April 19, 2020 and ending on May 18, 2020, we focused on that timespan compared to the shortened NBA regular season. Even with the Bulls not playing games at the moment, a documentary featuring Michael Jordan propelled their social media numbers.
Across the Chicago Bulls’ Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, the team saw an average increase of 200%, and Twitter images jumped over 400%. Of the Bulls’ 20 most engaging posts from Oct 22, 2019 – May 18, 2020, 75% were “The Last Dance” or Michael Jordan related.
You might have seen Spalding in the news lately. The official game ball of the NBA, dating back to 1983, was replaced with Wilson Sporting Goods – the deal news was announced May 14. But, with the ‘Last Dance’ highlight reels spanning the 80s and 90s, Spalding was center stage and earned valuable exposure on social media. While right holders and brands often report the return on investment (ROI) during a given time frame, brands can find “forgotten” value in throwback posts. In just two posts, Bleacher Report and the NBA generated almost 1 million engagements for Spalding.
Media Companies Go All in on the #TheLastDance
No live sports meant media companies dusted off the content archives, and athletes posted home workouts, cooking, and the random TikTok Challenges. The Jordan documentary offered us a behind-the-scenes look into one of the most revered and successful sports figures, so it’s no surprise that the likes of ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Barstool Sports, and Fox Sports used “The Last Dance” as the focus for both TV Broadcasting and social media.
Everyone’s an MJ Fan
Athletes took advantage of the series to show their love for Jordan and the Bulls – whether it was playing against him, wearing his jersey, or showing off his shoes. Speaking of shoes, Foot Locker partnered with Houston Rockets star PJ Tucker for #MJMondays, where Tucker took over the retailer’s IG Live to discuss, well MJ and sneakers.
The Jordan-Bulls conversations will inevitably slow down as sports return, but we’ll all be ready for ESPN’s newly announced Tom Brady documentary, slated for 2021.