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Phoenix Suns

Behind the scenes with the fan who started the Aron Baynes '@BaynesFanClub' Twitter account

NBA - Aron Baynes.jpg
Behind the scenes with the creator of the @BaynesFanClub Twitter account [NBA.com illustrations]

#NBATwitter is a beautiful place.

It has taken on a life of its own over the past few seasons, working as an online conference room that invites media personalities, basketball junkies, behind-the-screen comedians and trolls to all sit at the same table and discuss their favourite topic - the best everyday reality show on TV that we call the NBA.

Anyone can make an account, anyone can get their takes off and anyone can read and react to the moments that happen around the league, but it's not always easy to differentiate your account from the rest.

Typically, if you aren't a well-known analyst or reporter, you have to find a niche. Something that appeals to a specific group of users, but could have a bigger draw if done correctly.

And that is exactly what one particular user has done in creating the @BaynesFanClub - a page entirely dedicated to the extremely likable Aussie centre Aron Baynes, who's on-court success this season has correlated with the increased following of his "SunOfficial" fan page.

As universally liked as Baynes is, he isn't your typical NBA star that has a countless number of diehard fans. So what's the story behind this fan page? How and why was it created?

The man behind the account elected not to be identified but he is a Celtics fan from Boston, to provide some clarity as to where this is going.

The Twitter account wasn't always a Baynes fan page, but the miserably disappointing and underachieving 2018-19 Celtics season rebranded it from a generic account used to follow sports into what it is today - the SunOfficial Aron Baynes Fan Club.

In March of 2019 last year, the user, like most Celtics fans, was fed up with all the negativity surrounding his favourite team. In trying to shine some light on an unenjoyable season, he latched on to the hard-playing, gritty back-up centre who's demeanour never waivered despite the tension all around him.

"Baynes would always get up from the bench for almost every made basket in every game no matter the score in support of the team," the account owner told NBA.com. "I had always liked watching the defence-first/role players that may not get the national media attention."

And so the @BaynesFanClub was born.

"(The account) grew to the mid-thousands pretty quickly because I think people liked the positive spin. I was getting positive feedback from it which helped keep it going," the user said.

But things didn't really take off until after the Celtics season had ended. On draft night, when Boston traded Baynes and a pick to the Phoenix Suns for a 2020 first-round pick, the account's following picked up some steam.

"It really exploded on draft night. ... I want to say it gained around 2,000-to-3,000 followers just on draft night and by July, it was up to around 15,000.

"When it was featured on The Jump (ESPN's NBA show), that's when I realized I was on to something."

The account is up to 39K followers and counting and it has become a staple of NBA Twitter.


The content on the account is diversely expanding - it went from strictly Aron Baynes basketball content to finding any way possible to relate Baynes to what's going on in sports today. The user is working on making it "The Bleacher Report for all things Aron Baynes," to use his own words.

Take this Baynes remake of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's hype-tape ahead of their playoff game as an example:

Or his weekly "AB" Power Rankings:

He was also active in chiming into all-decade debates:

And tosses his two cents in on replies like this:

The account is good for Suns in-game highlights and commentary, as well as, of course, Baynes highlights. Not just traditional highlights either - you might even catch a hilariously on-brand Screen or Charge of the Year video.

The rapid success of the account has put a few new things on the user's plate, opening new opportunities that he never expected.

The Suns official account now frequently references the Baynes Fan Club on Twitter and just gifted him with a stitched, autographed, authentic Baynes jersey in a giveaway. The user now sells t-shirts on BaynesFanClub.com, an endeavour that caught him by surprise, but was set up in request of popular demand from his fans.

He's also leading the #BayneCampaign to try and employ his followers to vote Baynes into the 2020 All-Star Game in Chicago.

VOTE ARON BAYNES INTO THE ALL-STAR GAME HERE!

It's more than just tweeting the hashtag and retweeting his followers who give Baynes their vote - he even adds some statistical reasoning behind why you should consider voting for the Suns centre.

And most importantly, he's been active in lending a helping hand with the Australian brushfires, tweeting and retweeting donation links while also promoting Baynes' jersey giveaway if they help donate to the Australian NBA player's fundraiser for the tragedy consuming the country. He's using his platform as a satire NBA account to try and make an impact on something going on across the world, which is both considerate and intuitive.

What started out as a hobby for fun and entertainment has turned into much more than that - it's become a start-up business in a way, and is now helping make an impact on something much bigger than a social media platform like Twitter.

The @BaynesFanClub is growing and now is your time to jump on board if you haven't already. If you're a fan of Aron Baynes, the Suns or Aussie hoops and enjoy crafty, unique and funny social media posts and banter, this is the account for you.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.

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