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Warriors Recruit All-Star Tweeters to Unveil New Uniforms

The NBA's Warriors picked social media influencers to unveil the team's new uniform.

Kurt Wagner/ Re/code

For a short while Sunday night, part of Twitter’s 10th-floor cafeteria looked strikingly similar to Oracle Arena, home of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors.

Cheerleaders shook gold pom-poms, Warriors Hype Man Franco Finn had control of the microphone and third-year small forward Harrison Barnes stood around in full uniform taking photos and signing autographs. The reason for all the hubbub? The Warriors were introducing a new uniform, a slate-gray alternate jersey for Saturday games worn by Barnes, and the team wanted Twitter to be part of the unveiling.

To market the new jersey, the Warriors did something they’d never done before: They invited 10 Warriors fans they deemed influential on Twitter and asked them to post pictures and videos of the jersey into the Twittersphere before any media or team accounts had the opportunity.

“It was just right place, right time,” says Warriors CMO Chip Bowers. “We’ve been looking to do something like this with [Twitter] for quite some time.”

The group included everyday fans as well as a mix of Twitter users who carry serious clout, including Twitter’s head of advertising Adam Bain (a season ticket holder), Ian Padgham of Origiful (who has turned Vine into a career) and John and Sam Shahidi (co-founders of the selfie app Shots). Sam’s selfie with Barnes was retweeted more than 4,700 times in 14 hours.

The unveiling served as a fun, new approach for the Warriors, says Bowers, but the team’s relationship with Twitter was a factor in deciding to use the messaging platform to help unveil the jersey. After all, the Warriors could have gone to Facebook, where the team has nearly five times as many followers.

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