Web Editorial Associate
The Minnesota Lynx will do something Friday night that they have yet to do during the 2017 season.
Or ever, really.
The Lynx travel to take on the Phoenix Mercury at 9 p.m. Friday in Phoenix and will have their game live streamed on Twitter.
For Minnesota, it will be its first ‘Twitter Game’ of the season.
“I think it’s great on any platform that we can utilize all the different mechanisms of being able to watch the game for our fans. Whether it’s coming to the game, whether it’s ESPN or Twitter, League Pass, whatever it is, is nothing but great,” Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve said. “It’s kind of the wave of being able to watch a game is how many people are actually sitting down and watching TV. I know for me, I record everything, I don’t sit and watch. But to put it on Twitter, it’s such a mobile lifestyle now. I think it’s great and I’m glad our league went to it.”
The WNBA announced before the season that it reached an agreement with Twitter to live stream 20 games throughout the 2017, 2018 and 2019 WNBA seasons.
The idea, according to WNBA President Lisa Borders, came from Seattle Storm guard Jewell Loyd. Loyd recommended that the league look at Twitter as another way of broadcasting WNBA games.
“I think it’s awesome. The President said Jewell Loyd came up with it so it was good in that aspect where they are starting to listen to the players as far as trying to get more eyes on the game. Jewell Loyd came up with a great idea to stream games on Twitter and now we have over 20 games on Twitter,” Seimone Augustus said. “It’s more eyes on us and it’s a great platform to get the WNBA out there.”
When Borders came to St. Paul in June to watch the Lynx take on the Connecticut Sun at Xcel Energy Center, she said the Twitter games are averaging around one million viewers per game. In the first-ever Twitter Game, 1.1 million people tuned in.
“The first game on Twitter was a huge success. The numbers coming back are pretty outstanding for a first-time kind of thing. The way our world is going, it’s a digital world and a handheld world. Anything where I can think it can put our game in people’s hands literally all over the world, the better it will be,” Lindsay Whalen said. “We’ve shown that when we do get it out there to people, when we are showing it on TV and Twitter and different devices, people watch. The more we can get it on Twitter or Instagram or Facebook live or any of those things where people can access it, the better it is for us.
“It will be interesting to see as things develop where the league takes it and where technology takes us. It should be pretty cool. The starting off with Twitter was a huge success and big credit to the league on that.”
Twitter is another avenue for fans to get their eyes on the product the WNBA is displaying. For the Lynx, that can do nothing but help the game.
“They are seeing the product. We are going through the growth of the game and we have to make believers out of people,” Reeve said. “When you tune in you go ‘wow, did you see Maya Moore? Did you see Sylvia Fowles? Did you see Seimone (Augustus)?’ And to interact with other fans while you’re doing it, maybe you’re by yourself but you have the ability to connect. I think it’s pretty cool.”
Minnesota’s game on Friday night is the first of three games that will be live streamed on Twitter this season. The next two games will come on Aug. 25 in San Antonio and Aug. 30 in Indiana.
“I think it will open a lot of eyes for a lot of people that haven’t seen the game. . . There are a lot of people that haven’t even been to the game and don’t know a lot about the WNBA, so it opens that up to create new fans,” Augustus said. “Twitter gives us that opportunity to expand the game and grow.”
How You Can Watch
To watch the the Lynx game live streamed on Twitter on Friday night and for the rest of the season, you can visit WNBA.twitter.com to catch the action live.
If you don’t have a Twitter account and still want to watch the game, we have good news for you! You do not need to be logged into Twitter or have an account to watch the game.
You can join in on the Twitter conversation on the WNBA.twitter.com page by adding the hashtag #WNBALive to any tweet.