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NBA adds Twitter handles to fan merchandise

As part of its latest social media strategy, the American basketball league has added Twitter handles and hashtags to the newest batch of fan merchandise on offer.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) has launched a series of t-shirts through its online store, displaying a hashtag with the team's logo on the front and the player's Twitter handle above his uniform number on the back.

Whether it is a stroke of brilliance or a recipe for disaster, the move makes sense as the NBA competes with other trending topics on the social media platform.

"We are always looking at new ways to connect with fans," NBA vice president of licensing Lisa Pilken told technology website Mashable (April 1).

"As the top sports league on Twitter with more than 4.5 million followers on @NBA and more than 350 NBA players active on the site, we thought this would be a great way to engage with our fans."

The first round of players to be featured on the new line of clothing includes some of the league's most active Twitter users, such as Kevin Durant, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul.

One of the players generating the most buzz both on and off the court, New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin, has also had a Twitter handle shirt produced in his honour.

Despite being ruled out with a knee injury, Lin is still actively tweeted, recently posting a photo of himself recovering in his hospital bed after surgery.

Lin earned himself the Twitter hashtag #Linsanity earlier in the season after an impressive performance in his four career starts against the Utah Jazz, Washington Wizards, Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves.

There is one one question: how long will it be until Twitter handles are added to the back of the players jerseys on-court?

Posted by Elise Ferrari