The NFL is Making Millions in “Extra” Sponsorships with Twitter Amplify

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The NFL is Making Millions in “Extra” Sponsorships with Twitter Amplify

Via @adweek. The term “extra” sponsorship is present here, but doesn’t this demonstrate a shift in what a sponsorship destination Twitter has already become?

At this point, there is no other app or platform that can compete with Twitter for a second screen strategy.

How “Official” is Twitter?

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Over the past several weeks, there have been a few events on Twitter that merit some discussion and debate.

I’m going to review two examples from the NFL’s New York Jets and the NHL’s LA Kings as they both provide some insight into Twitter’s role in how sports teams communicate (or not).

New York Jets

This case comes out of the New Orleans’ Saints Bounty fiasco. Basically, QB Drew Brees tweeted that he couldn’t imagine that his coach, Sean Payton could be suspended for the entire 2012 season. The NYJ decided to send a reply…

@drewbrees Know you’re frustrated but if he had admitted instead of trying to cover it up, maybe Williams gets a suspended.

Not long after, another tweet came from the NYJ…

At 11:21pm on 3/21 an unauthorized tweet was sent from @nyjets. This is not the view of the New York Jets. We are looking into this matter.

I know a thing or two about sports teams and twitter, and I’m pretty certain that most teams do not “authorize” their tweets, especially at 11:21PM at night. These things happen, sometimes due to the staff/resource in charge of the Twitter account that accidentally sent a tweet that was intended for their personal account and sent it as the team account. This goes beyond sports; such was Chrysler’s experience on Twitter in which personal and brand accounts were confused and resulted in the brand tweeting out an F-bomb.

It turned out that Chrysler’s mistake actually helped increase followers – and that segues into the next example…

LA Kings

During their recent first round playoff victory over the Vancouver Canucks (the most followed NHL team on Twitter), the LA Kings sent out the following tweet after game 1:

To everyone in Canada outside of BC, you’re welcome.

The tweet referenced the fact the Canucks were viewed as one of the most disliked teams in Canada and sent legions of Canucks followers into a tizzy. The tweet also garnered several thousand RTs (over 17K, I believe – good enough for 10th most RTs in Twitter history) and went on to help drive close to 10,000 new followers by the next game 2 days later. While many were expectedly upset, others did not take it so seriously.

There was no “retraction tweet” per the NYJ, in fact, a Kings Spokesperson pumped their digital tires with a light apology, which I felt was more than adequate. Many saw the Kings’ tweet as fun, and were suprised that the Twitter account was being taken seriously.

So What Does This Mean?

From my experience, I know that different teams have different opinions and approaches to Twitter and communications. We see many players across many sports as well as many members of the media engage in light chirping and making fun of one another on Twitter – and in a way that would not be seen in any other venue.

I see this as healthy debate… I think the only correct answer is that it entirely depends on the teams’ market – whether they are a dominant presence in their market or strive for PR. There is no escaping the fact that the Twitter account still comes from the brand, but…

  • Is Twitter part of PR no matter what?
  • Is it strictly fan engagement/loyalty and Marketing?”
  • Is Twitter more valid than any “official” PR communication channel?
  • Can Twitter be “just for fun”?

This is what makes this field so interesting (and at times, challenging). Everyone is paying attention now – and like it or not, Twitter may be more valid and “official” than you think. Teams used to provide announcements via press releases on team, game or organizational operations. Now, teams “release” tweets, updates, pins and instagrams all day, every day.

Where does all this sit with you?

The Super Bowl and Social Media Sports Marketing

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With the big game just around the corner, I wanted to share a few Super Bowl things I thought were interesting…

Sometimes rivaling the game itself, Super Bowl commercials are of big interest for everyone from the hardcore to the peripheral fan and specific interest to those of us focused on sponsorship. This year saw not only “teasers” for some ads, but the outright release of the entire ads on YouTube.

With nearly 10 million views (at the time of writing) The Honda Ferris Bueller commercial debuted this week – does this diminish the “actual” airing during the Super Bowl? I say yes, but if Honda sells a record number of CR-V’s – isn’t that the point?

Last year, Foursquare clocked over 200,000 check-ins in a nationwide Super Bowl event. I’m guessing that should be well over 500,000 this year – and in addition, Foursquare has partnered with Pizza Hut and American Express.

Here’s the official Super Bowl 2012 Foursquare page.

We’ll see a ton of content on Twitter from fans, media and celebrities no matter what happens at the Super Bowl, and there’s potential to break some records here too. With over 9,420 tweets per second, Twitter and the NFL broke some records this past season with the #Tebow playoff pass.

Twitter launched Ad Scrimmage this week, which kicks in for the week immediately following the game to allow users to vote on their favorite Super Bowl commercials,  so be sure check that link again.

There’s also a Super Bowl Facebook Page.

When you look back 4 years ago, when the Giants and Patriots last met in the Super Bowl, social media was still pretty new – and now these two teams have fully embraced social marketing. Mashable provides a good breakdown of this analysis here

The Super Bowl event committee  has a Stay Connected Hub with a staff of 50 resources to monitor and respond on various platforms.

Will you be tweeting? Or checking in? See you online…

The Offseason: 6 Ways to Stay Plugged In

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plugThe NBA and NHL championships have come and gone.

It’s a bit too early to start talking about the NFL, and MLB is not the most social media focused league in town.

So one might think that there is very little to discuss regarding social media and sports right now – but that would be a mistake. Now is a very important time for teams and leagues to keep fans engaged.

Why? Because, if you follow my path to social media then you know that sponsorship is not far behind. Through social media, there are still opportunities to keep fans active, and to keep sponsors activated.

Consider the following… How can you leverage:

  • Ticket Sales – Do you have a social media angle for marketing tickets?
  • Contests/Give Aways – Are you giving your market a reason to keep plugged in?
  • Off Season Drafts/Trades/Personnel Changes – Can you provide perspectives and insight from the source?
  • Discussion – Can you generate discussion and debate?
  • Access – Can you provide visibility on team insiders?
  • Announcements – Can you release info via social networks prior to a press release?

If you give your market good reasons to stay plugged in – then they will. Staying plugged in is what your sponsors want and need to see.