The microblogging network on Friday announced a deal with the NBA to stream replay highlights directly to users through in-app video posts. The clips will debut during this year’s playoffs with the hashtag #NBARapidReplay. They’ll be monetized through ads from Sony, Taco Bell and Sprint that will be featured with the replays.
Twitter’s NBA news comes on the heels of a similar deal it announced on Tuesday with sports broadcasting giant ESPN. ESPN will soon begin posting short, ad-supported video highlights directly to Twitter from events including World Cup qualifiers, college football match-ups and the X-Games.
In addition to underscoring the huge presence of sports and sports fans on Twitter, both moves also reflect Twitter’s evolution into an increasingly content-focused platform. Photos, videos and article previews have gained increased prominence on the social network over the past year or so.
While the NBA and ESPN partnerships make for a big week, Twitter has experimented with boosting sports highlights on the network before. During this year’s March Madness, it ran short highlights from games just minutes after they occurred in a deal with the NCAA. It partnered with ESPN for a similar arrangement during last year’s college football bowl season.
It’s safe to expect the relationship between sports entities, Twitter and brands will grow over the coming years and months.
“We know that consumers often react to live sports on Twitter,” Dwight Caines, Sony Pictures Entertainment’s head of digital marketing, said of the NBA deal on Friday. “This was a perfect way to be a part of their second screen experience.”