Social Revolution: Part 2 – Sports

Is it just me, or is the world we live in changing at a mind-blowing pace? Call me crazy, but I honestly think that we’re in the midst of what will one day be widely known as the Social Revolution. My parents will never understand it, but for us Millennials, it’s gotten to the point that we want to be social in every daily activity we engage in.

This is the second part of a series of posts I am going to write about things we do on a daily basis that are quickly becoming more social than ever before! (Read the first part of the series)

Social Sports

I know I’m a little late, and you’ve already read at least thirty of them, so I’m going to spare you the classic “Superbowl commercial recap” blog post that we’re all used to seeing annually. I am, however, going to talk about a trend that continued in a big way during the Superbowl this year.

Additionally, a professional Lacrosse team went somewhere that no other professional team in North America has gone on Sunday. Did you hear about it yet?

Before I get too carried away, let’s talk about the Superbowl. First of all, I think that there was more online buzz about commercials before and during the game than ever before. A good friend Arthur Catalanello already wrote about this. His main concern is whether or not leaking material before the Superbowl was a good or a bad decision for marketers to make.

What captured my attention during the Superbowl this year was the use of hashtags in commercials. As a social media fanatic, I was beaming when I saw promoted hashtags in the first 3 or four commercials.

 

Did you notice? This was Bud Light’s hashtag to promote their new Platinum product (read more about Bud Light Platinum on Joe Mignano’s blog).

 

 

The above commercial was one of my favorites, despite playing off of the Twilight series, something I really don’t enjoy at all. I will admit though, that a lot of people did fall into an obsession with that series, and I think Audi did a really great job appealing to those people. The hashtag promotion clearly started a conversation, too!

The moral of the story is that social media, and in this case Twitter specifically, is changing the way we watch television. Commercials aren’t enough anymore. Now, marketers are looking to get more out of the millions of dollars they spend on those 30-second spots. They want a conversation, and they want buzz.

To shift gears slightly, did you know that on Sunday, February 12, 2012, the Philadelphia Wings professional Lacrosse team of the National Lacrosse League were the first professional team to replace their last names on the back of their jerseys with their Twitter handles.

Uh, yeah, how cool is that? According to the official site of the team, each player was required to make and maintain a Twitter account and they were each trained on how to use the site before the season began. In addition to the individual’s handles displayed on the back of the jersey, if you look closely you’ll notice that the team’s official Twitter account is also displayed on the collar.

So, other than the fact that this was the first time a professional sports team did this, does it really matter?

I think it does. Personally, whenever I am watching a @Lakers or a @BuffaloSabres game, I tweet during it. I always tag the team or the player that I’m referring to, and usually the league that they team plays in as well. Can you imagine how much more frequently people would use Twitter and talk about their team if they were prompted to each time they saw a jersey?

Just like promoted hashtags on Superbowl commercials, this is a call to action. Specifically, it’s going to get a conversation started online. I would be willing to bet that, over time, the Wings team will enjoy a more passionate fan-base, which can only lead to great things for the team’s front office.

Not to mention the team realized how revolutionary their idea was, and to capitalize on it they auctioned off each jersey after the game. They raised over $13,000 to benefit the American Cancer Society. Who doesn’t like a team that raises money and gives back?

So here’s the take-away.

Twitter is changing the way we do things. A lot of things. With social media, we have a way to talk infinitely about the things that we consume. As a marketer, don’t you want that conversation to be about your product? Sometimes a simple call to action is all it takes for the online community to be set ablaze.

It’s a social revolution. Are you on board? What do you think about using social media in sports?

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About Jim Mignano

Jim Mignano is a young professional practicing and learning Public Relations in Rochester, NY. He is passionate about the possibilities that digital media provide and loves utilizing new platforms for a variety of functions. James' blog is about people and the technology they use. It's about communication and persuasion... the old and the new ways of doing things... the struggle between sticking to the tried, true recipes and experimenting with intuitive, innovative ideas. It's an extension and reflection of James himself: the convergence of ambition & ability.
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3 Responses to Social Revolution: Part 2 – Sports

  1. Mark Trova says:

    I love this! You really did, “kill it,” to borrow your own phrase.
    I have never heard of the Philadelphia Wings before this, but now I have. Simple, but effective — just like the reasons you and I use Twitter, personal branding and networking, this little known professional lacrosse team has expanded its fan base and networked itself to people who are unfamiliar with them.
    To answer your question at the end of the blog: I believe that social media in sports is not only a great idea, but its actually soon to be a necessity. The NFL fines players for tweeting during games and an hour before or after games, and I don’t believe that will change anytime soon simply due to distracting from game time activities, but what happened with the Wings will happen in the NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB and so on, and be taken further.
    Great stuff man! Another great read

  2. Pingback: Social Revolution: Part 3 – Politics | Millennial's Marketing

  3. Pingback: LPGA is getting social in Pittsford, NY | Millennial's Marketing

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