Bringing social media into the physical world. Yes, it’s one of the latest social trends in the sports industry— hashtags on football fields, Twitter handles on the basketball courts and now, Twitter handles on jerseys.
The Philadelphia Wings (NLL) replaced the last names of players with Twitter handles on jerseys. At first glance, I thought the
move was brilliant…
But the truth is, you can’t slap social on everything. When physically branding social media at a sporting event it should enhance the game (not detract), serve a unique purpose and engage.
1. Enhance the game— not detract
How does placing players’ Twitter handles on the jerseys enhance the game? It doesn’t. In fact, for those who don’t use Twitter, this could be especially irritating. Twitter handles on jerseys could make it harder for fans to follow the game, especially if there are new fans at the game or the Twitter handles don’t resemble the players’ names.
2. Serve a Unique Purpose
Replacing players’ names with their Twitter handles is no doubt unique, but there are other ways you can serve the purpose of promoting players’ Twitter handles without taking away an element that makes it easier for fans to follow the game— add the Twitter handles to the bios on the website, the game program, etc.
Social media is all about engagement. If you’re promoting social media at a sporting event, you want fans to go to the platform and engage right away. Fans can engage with the players post-game, but they aren’t going to be tweeting during the game when you have a captive audience . Promoting a gameday hashtag or the team Twitter account at a game makes more sense because people can join the conversation about the game and engage right away. Instant gratification.
Anyway, I love the idea of making social physical, but in my opinion, it doesn’t mean that you can slap a Twitter handle or hashtag on everything and call it a brilliant marketing tactic.
What do you all think? Is replacing last names of players’ on jerseys with Twitter handles a do or a don’t?
Social media isn’t a numbers game in the terms of quantity; social media is a numbers game in the term of quality. The truth is, it doesn’t matter how many followers your brand has in the social space if they aren’t engaging; it matters how many you have interacting and listening. Quality fans are the ones consuming… — What do you think… do you agree?
Warning: Sponsored Post
I was surprised tonight to stumble upon this post on the Runner’s World Magazine Facebook page. As a big brand that’s socially savvy, I thought they would know better than to commit a deadly social media sin— screaming marketing message to your fans.
Research shows that most Facebook fans “Like” brand pages to receive perks, enter contests and publicly show their support of a brand. While you can’t always offer deals and coupons, there is one thing that is very clear to me; even if you are selling a product, you have to be creative, innovative and engaging in the way you push it out.
The truth is, most fans don’t trust advertisements from brands; they trust their peers. But, here’s the beauty— by fostering an online community for your brand and generating engaging content, you’ll create brand advocates. These brand advocates equal word of mouth advertising, the most valuable kind.
I understand that every brand has talking points, sponsor plugs, etc. that they have to push out. When you have those “marketing messages” though, I challenge you to be creative, think outside the box and create content, not just a billboard. This will be much more valuable in the long run (no pun intended).
Runner’s World Magazine’s post received 20 “Likes” in 46 minutes. Not very engaging for a brand with 300,000 fans. Did the message make me want to click through? Check out the product? Not at all.
Yes, tonight’s post was a fail, not only for Runner’s World Magazine, but also for Nike and the product they were plugging. Here’s to no more posts labeled SPONSORED.
I’m a sports-a-holic with a love for writing and communications, who happened to stumble upon this thing called social media. Needless to say, it was love at first Tweet.
In all seriousness, I’ve been very fortunate to combine two of my passions, sports and social media, into a career. I graduated from Auburn (War Eagle) in 2009 with a degree in Mass Communications and took a job at the Atlanta Track Club where I managed their Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and and blog. It was at the ATC that I quickly learned social media was my niche. In January of this year I packed my bags and headed for a new adventure in Indy as a Social Media Strategist at the NCAA. As a former student-athlete, I couldn’t be more excited to be living and breathing college sports and social media everyday.
The wonderful thing about working in social media is that you are always learning because the landscape is always changing. I hope this blog will serve as an extension of my learning. I’ll focus largely on digital / social media trends, tidbits and thoughts from the sports industry, with other random musings here and there. Don’t be afraid to connect with me on Twitter and leave your thoughts, comments and insights. I would love to learn a thing or two from you all, too.