By Ross Trumble – Digital Revolution AZ
Sports and Social Media are a natural fit, no doubt about it. Even the casual fan associates a certain part of their own identity with a team, on game day. For the fanatic, it’s months of passion they pour out all over their family, friends and now their computer screen. On the other side of the coin, there’s the professional athlete. Say what you want about them as people, but it’s very obvious they like, no, LOVE attention. It’s part of the reason they spent so many years crafting their game. Spend a few minutes on twitter seeking them out and you’ll clearly see the need for fan adoration they have.
Fans used to be able to wait around after games and talk to their favorite sports heroes. With newer league rules about media engagement, that doesn’t really happen. Now a lot of that interaction happens digitally first. Shaquille O’Neal for one, has been known to offer tickets and prizes to people who could find him at a shopping mall or other public places. Several teams have successfully hosted “Tweetups” including the NBA Finals versions promoted on that league’s twitter feed.
Facebook certainly has its place also. Locally, Larry Fitzgerald has found a huge following with his FB fan page. His uplifting and always positively directed posts get feedback by the hundreds and sometimes break 1,000 comments. The point is that it’s a two sided equation. The fans want just as badly to interact and engage as the athlete does.
If you’re a sports fan and you haven’t really hopped on your team’s social media bandwagon, give it a try. Let’s be honest, hardly any of us go to all the games because of the cost (I estimate it costs me about $150-$200 to attend an NFL football game and do it “right”) and the hassle of game day traffic, distance to the stadium and other factors. That’s not to mention road games, that are a rarity for most fans outside of the College Football crowd.
Why not hop on Twitter and start searching for your team’s name or hashtags being used? If you are an Arizona Cardinals fan like myself, take a look at my list of fans, players and commentators. This should get you started. Other local teams have similar lists, so get out there and find your people!
Part II will deal with more local successes in Pro Sports and Social Media as well as a few gaffes.