Friday, November 14, 2008

Where was the NFL?

nyj Last night we saw one of the most exciting regular season football games in quite some time as the Jets beat the Patriots, 34-31 in overtime. Twitter was rocking, as it often does during events. Between people tweeting about their team and the #patsjets hashtag, there must have been over 1000 tweets from football fanatics. Personally, it was even better winning a bet with Jim Storer and seeing him change his avatar to the lovely NY Jets logo. I am anxious to see all of the nice Jets related comments that Jim will be making (also part of the bet).
I’ve written before about how much Twitter enhances watching a sporting event at home. it’s like watching the game in your living room with a few hundred friends. And that was certainly true last night. However, based on the Twitter brand survey that Peter Sorgenfrei and I just completed, I think there could be so much more for fans.
How great would it have been if representatives of the Jets and Patriots were tweeting along with us? Especially if it was former players. Who wouldn’t follow @CurtisMartin or @SteveGrogan? What if the tweet stream was picked up by the NFL Network and displayed on the bottom of the screen like CNN and Current did during the election. The NYTimes live blogs on the Fifth Down during games. Wouldn't you like to see their tweets during the game? Or wouldn’t it have been great to have a dedicated NFL.twitter.com page like the Twitter election page where all of the posts could be flying in, so we don’t have to keep a search window open? And I’m sure some of the NFL sponsors could get their message up on the chrome. I don’t want to focus on monetization ideas now, but this seems like a natural fit. Would the experience that I described, enhance your game watching/ Twittering? Which brands would you like to see engaging with you while you were watching the game and in what way?

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9 comments:

Davide Di Cillo said...

This is exactly why i created Twootball.com

Jim Storer said...

Warren - Thanks for the great wager... can't wait until we meet in the playoffs!

There are some great examples of streaming UGC during live events. A Mzinga client (NBC) has streamed live chat from iVillage during segments on The View. Also, currentTV did something recently called Hack the Debate, where they built a flash app to display the related Twitter-stream during the Presidential and VP debates. Very cool indeed.

I love your idea of sports teams getting reps to participate with fans. Whether it's injured players like Tom Brady (what an idea!! - they're still paying him, might as well put him to work), former players (I'd love to see Bill Lee tweeting during a Red Sox game) or team staff (Ernie Adams doing in game analysis on a Pats game - "what did you see in Mayo?").

There's a lot of opportunity for the sports industry to open up and embrace fans by becoming more involved in these mediums (I really had to work hard to not use the hackneyed "join the conversation" phrase).

Jim | @jstorerj

Davide Di Cillo said...

another shameless plug, just from today Twootball for iPhone is available on iTunes for free... ;)

Warren said...

Jim- I love the idea of getting players/ team reps on Twitter. Some of the players are starting to blog, so hopefully Twitter is the next step. Would love to see the sports industry more involved And Jaffe gives me $5 each time I say "Join the Conversation"! Pat Coyle writes a great blog on sports marketing, http://www.patcoyle.net/ but he is not active on Twitter.

Davide- Twootball is a great idea with a lot of potential. Thanks for sharing it with us. I have to say though, one more shameless plug and I will install adsense and make you pay me! Just kidding.

adamcohen said...

Warren - I've had several discussions with folks interested in social media around Twitter and sports. There is something there I can't put my finger on and I really like your ideas. Sharing the experience from folks at the game as well as watching the game, and involving former players is a phenomenal idea. I think all major sports teams are missing out on ways to use Twitter to connect with legions of fans. I'm still looking for Jerry Remy to invite some Red Sox fans into the booth to Twitter during a game with him.

I guess I'm glad I didn't get in on the wager, but would love to if the Pats face the Jets in the playoffs...

David - I learned about twootball.com from this, thank you and looking forward to checking it out more.

Jim, you look horrible in green.

Adam | @adamcohen

Warren said...

Adam, great insights as always. There's no reason why the sports world can't implement Twitter use the way the networks have with politics. For example,instead of @cnnricksanchez, why couldn't @chriscollinsworth answer a few tweets on air? And who wouldn't love to get a tweet from @remdog?

Mark ALves said...

Good points. This is a prime example of why Twitter needs Twitter rooms so you could have conversations during games without annoying your followers who aren't into the game.

Here's a FriendFeed room that @r set up for Titans discussions.
http://friendfeed.com/rooms/titans

Hey Davide Di Cillo -- Would it be possible to make the tinyurls clickable when they appear inside Twootball messages?

Go #Steelers!

Warren said...

In a Twitter event as large as his size 23 shoes, Shaquille O'Neal has joined Twitter. In about a day, over 5000 people have followed Shaq. This certainly demonstrates our point that Twitter would be a hotbed of fan conversation with our sports heroes. Check out the NY Times announcing @THE_REAL_SHAQ, http://tinyurl.com/6glojl

Kathleen hessert said...

passion & community are at the core of word of mouth and nothing personifies that better than sports. It's perfect for NFL fans and the league as well as NBA and others can only benefit from bringing fans- especially displaced fans together.