Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Social media and the NBA

MILWAUKEE - FEBRUARY 10:  Charlie Villanueva #...

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

There was some great Twitter discussion in response to yesterday's post about Charlie Villanueva tweeting from the locker room during a game. Many fans thought it was cool and the traditionalists among us were somewhat annoyed by another spoiled player tweeting in the middle of a game. However, I had a very interesting conversation with Glenn White, a former co-worker. who had a different perspective.

Much of the conversation was regarding the difference between the NBA's controlled messages and sponsored dialogue such as mandated halftime player network interviews contrasted to a player's freeform opinion. In other words, a traditional command and control marketing organization (the Milwaukee Bucks and the NBA) trying to control/ mandate the brand content over consumer generated (player) media. The player was not allowed to share his content and tweet from the locker room, but instead players must make themselves available to the TV network for quick interviews during that same time. Now I am certain that Bucks coach Scott Skiles was not reprimanding his player, Charlie Villanueva, over brand control guidelines. But does the player have the right to share his content/interpretation of the brand on his own terms or does the benefit/ value to the company supercede that? An interesting parallel to social media, don't you think?


Isn't the NBA being close-minded about technology?

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