The Blog

  1. It wasn’t a season he expected. After undergoing ankle surgery last May, Golden State’s Stephen Curry planned to help the Warriors make a playoff run in 2011-’12. But the pesky ankle didn’t cooperate, limiting Curry’s season and Golden State’s postseason hopes. 

    Despite their disappointment, many Warriors fans supported Curry with hundreds of social media messages over the past few months. To thank those fans for their faith and patience, the point guard ran a “Fan Appreciation Week,” which coincided with the final week of the NBA’s regular season. Using his Twitter and Facebook pages, Curry held contests, chatted with fans and once again proved why he’s one of the NBA’s best at social media.

  2. DAY 1

    Curry releases a video personally thanking fans and announcing the challenge for the first contest. Click the link below to watch Curry’s video:
  3. Within minutes, @jshaw_10 wins a pair of autographed shoes.
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    @jshaw_10 gotta have today’s date in the pic
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    Have a winner already for Day 1. Keep it tuned here, we’ll do stuff the next 6 days RT @jshaw_10: @StephenCurry30
  8. DAY 2

    Curry’s “Fan Appreciation Week” shifts to his Facebook page on Day 2. Click the links below to see the challenge and eventual winner.
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  10. DAY 3

    On Day 3, Curry holds a Twitter chat. He answers 48 questions in 30 minutes, and the chat’s hashtag, #SC30, becomes a U.S. trending topic within five minutes.
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  12. Why should athletes reply to fans on social media? Because of responses like this…
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    @StephenCurry30 do you think you can actually go 82 games next year? Hoping that your ankle is fine already! Wishing the best! #SC30
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    @marcoalquiros that’s the plan. Played 80 rookie yr so it’s possible. Big summer of preparation
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    @ajgabilli @skapipaximus got me a tweet from @StephenCurry30! Haha cOol! #SC30
  16. And this…

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    @StephenCurry30 How has it been with the addition of Andrew Bogut? #SC30
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    @karthik236 great personality and vet around the locker room, still injured so looking forward to court time
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    @StephenCurry30 great to hear, and thank you for replying!!!!!
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  21. DAY 4:

    With his wife Ayesha due with their first child this summer, Curry asks for some advice…
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    Day 4 of Fan Appreciation Week: I’m looking for some good names for my baby girl. Will send an autographed pic for the best one. Thoughts?
  23. Suggestions flow in, including one from a former Missouri guard, current NBA prospect and a social media star in his own right…
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    @StephenCurry30 I’m sure somebody already said it. But “Stephanie”. Congrats on becoming a father bro,
  25. While Curry and his wife don’t plan to actually use the winning name, it is kind of catchy…
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    Wow, u guys sent in 100s of suggestions. I’m gonna go with @Craigtime21’s suggestion of Cally. Thanks to all who replied
  28. DAY 5

    The Warriors finish up the season with two home games. On Day 5 of Curry’s Fan Appreciation Week, tickets are up for grabs for the first to answer this…
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    Day 5 of Fan Appreciation Week. I’ll leave 3 tickets for tonight’s game vs Hornets to 1st who gets this right – What’s my favorite TV show?
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    Boom — winner RT @DavidPaulNewell: @StephenCurry30 The Office?
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    Stoked, Just won 3 Free tickets to tonights Warriors thanks to @StephenCurry30 who is awesome!!
  32. DAY 6

    On Day 6, Curry’s not able to hold a contest, but he has an excuse. He undergoes surgery on his troublesome ankle, but he doesn’t forget about the fans, updating them with a picture before…
  33. And after…
  34. DAY 7

    Curry wraps up his Fan Appreciation Week with a ticket giveaway to the Warriors season finale. And he’s not the only one in a giving mood…
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    Final Fan Appreciation Week giveaway: I’ll leave 3 tix for tonight’s game for 1st person to guess: what’s my favorite memory as a Warrior?
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    @StephenCurry30 your triple double as a rookie!
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    @StephenCurry30 haha im def from the bay! but im at UCLA for school right now but ill be a good brother and give the tix to my sisters!
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    Good guy RT @eexwhyzee: @StephenCurry30 im at UCLA for school right now but ill be a good brother and give the tix to my sisters!
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    @StephenCurry30 can you leave the tickets for Kim Hoang? hope you have a quick recovery from surgery and can’t wait to see you healthy!

Every four years, they get a chance. The spotlight shines on them quickly, before disappearing for another four years. Yet that’s what makes the journey of Olympic athletes so fascinating. More than 10,000 Olympians will descend on London this summer and the vast majority won’t run as fast as a lightning Bolt, be multi-millionaire basketball players or have 14 gold medals. Marketing moments aren’t hard to come by when you’re Michael Phelps.¬†

Now with the Games fast approaching, some lesser-known athletes are using social media to polish their online presence for primetime. Swimmer Amanda Beard has used a variety of platforms to become a New York Times Best Seller. Lolo Jones has showcased incredible wit and self-deprecating humor to build up a Twitter audience of nearly 48,000 followers — an awful lot for a hurdler. And Ricky Berens has gone from never replying to fans, to the most engaging U.S. swimmer on Twitter.

Berens is a Spiracle Media client, so the previous statement isn’t really an impartial one. But during the past year, fans and most importantly, sponsors, have noticed what he’s been doing. In the landscape of mainstream sports, Berens isn’t a “name.” He’s trained the past four years for what will likely be just a few minutes in the spotlight in London. But in his world, the swim world, he’s a big deal, and he’s capitalized by turning his social media efforts into endorsements.

As he prepares for London, Berens recently took a break from his training in L.A. to chat with me, via Skype.

CLICK BELOW to hear how Berens has turned his social media efforts into “a business,” why he truly enjoys replying to so many fans and who won in a race between him and his Olympic gold medal-winning girlfriend, Rebecca Soni.

If you want to skip around, here’s a rundown of where you can find specific parts of the conversation:

1:00 — Why Berens has upped his social media game
1:43 — Examples of how he’s engaging with fans
2:24 — Why he was originally hesitant to reply to fans
2:55 — How social media helps him reach younger swimmers
3:50 — How his social media efforts have attracted sponsors
5:17 — Video he posted of the race against his gold medal-winning girlfriend
6:14 — How he’s turned social media into a business
7:08 — His reasons for being more active than other swimmers
8:52 — What he thinks about social media restrictions at Olympics
9:55 — Examples of behind-the-scenes posts, if there weren’t restrictions
11:42 — How he’s built online relationships with fans