After diving into the world of Twitter in early January, Kobe Bryant has followed an almost identical strategy in joining the Chinese social media micro-blogging site Sina Weibo, which has over 400 million members.
Prior to starting his own Twitter account, Bryant took over the Nike Basketball account and said he enjoyed the ability to interact directly with fans. Since taking the plunge on Twitter, Bryant has engaged with fans and critics, alike. Recently, Bryant made headlines for responding to a fan who used the word “gay” as an insult.
The Los Angeles Lakers superstar has collected over 1.3 million followers on twitter to this point.
Similar to his start to Twitter, Bryant took over the Nike Basketball account before registering his own account on Sina Weibo, which is often called the “Chinese twitter.” Bryant took a moment to wish his fans a happy Chinese New Year though the Nike Basketball account prior to starting his own account.
“I receive a great amount of help in terms of translation,” Bryant revealed to ESPNLA radio on Monday, as the site is designed for Chinese speaking users.
Bryant has consistently been one of the most famous athletes in China, selling more jerseys than any other NBA player.
In 2011, Bryant recently saw his popularity fall from most popular athlete in America to third behind Derek Jeter and Peyton Manning. However, Bryant’s recent emergence on Twitter appears to be a marketing strategy that is working to keep the 34-year-old popular with the younger generation.
Bryant’s Facebook page has nearly 15.8 million “likes.” In comparison, LeBron James has 13.5 million “likes,” and Kevin Durant has 3.7 million “likes.”
The full level of Bryant’s involvement on Sina Weibo remains to be seen, but his global stardom is hard to deny as he continues to conquer new social mediums.