How the NFL has embraced and is dominating social media
The national football league’s has had strict rules towards media relations. Due to lack of communication between the league and the funs, some people have nicknamed to the club as No Fun League. In 2009, NFL disallowed in-game tweeting and later fined a player for tweeting from a training camp. However, NFL has dropped its hard-line stance towards social media and has contracted Buddy Media to advise its 32 teams on the best way to exploit the great potential offered by the social media. Within a short stint into social media, NFL has amassed a wide following. The NFL facebook page has over 4 million fans, and @nfl has close to 2.5 million followers on twitter. NFL intends to use social media as a platform to connect with its fans. By allowing social media, NFL seeks to bring back fans to NFL.com and also win new funs.
NFL is cautious in how far it goes into social media. It is still cautious in how it engages with its fans in a conversation, whether it is serious, fun or controversial. Although it has allowed use of social media, there are still some restrictions. According to NFL McCarthy, the league is not going to change its stance on in-game tweets during the regular season. In addition players will not be able to tweet from personal devices but will use computer station set up on each sideline.
Being a star packed game, NFL is more of a show than a game. From this knowledge, it has now downed on NFL that it needs to revise its social media policy. Although it has embraced social media with caution, NFL is already making progress. With a wide following, social media is the real platform to connect with eager fans. Players and the team can connect with their fans.
The teams and all the players are part of the social media initiative. All the teams and all the players are going through training on how to properly use social media to their advantage.How the NFL has embraced and is dominating social media Teams and players are expected to be cautious on how they tweet since their messages can affect the whole NFL. According to Buddy Media, teams and players will learn how to effectively use social media without affecting the overall image of the league.
Among other things, players are taught the issues to avoid commenting about such issues as sex, politics and religion. Players are also expected to avoid emotional tweeting and engaging with trolls and haters. In addition players are also learning how to think before tweeting and how to use social media to add value to the community. Overall players will learn how to market themselves on social media (Cater 119).
The players have really embraced social media. According to them, social media replaces autographs. According to John Thornton, former defensive tackle for the Tennessee Titans and Cincinnati Bengals, previously fans wanted players to sign autographs, but now they want players to tweet back (NFL.com). Several players have already amassed huge following. Chad Ochoncinco (@OChoncinco) has close to 3 million followers. Other active members in social media include the Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson, Terrell Owens and Rob Gronkownski.
The players acknowledge the great potential embedded in social media in relation to their own marketing. As result, players would grab every opportunity to market their brand, their name.How the NFL has embraced and is dominating social media As NFL embraces social media, one of the main concerns is whether the teams will be able to put an end to the outlandish tweets. If the ongoing training by Buddy media will be successive, NFL will have conquered a huge market and satisfied their broad fan base.
Social media has a huge following. It provides the platform for marketers to connect with consumers (Anjum 14). Social media has changed the landscape of marketing and engagement with fans for NFL. Marketers can leverage on the big NFL fan base to reach their consumers. Every single major Super Bowl media investment has a social TV component.How the NFL has embraced and is dominating social media Brands with hopes at leveraging the big game to reach consumers have recognized that investment in buzz during the event is not enough. In order to have maximum benefit from the advertising cost, companies must hype the social web like never before.
Some of the companies engaged in NFL social media marketing include coco-cola, kia, Acura, Chevy, Pepsi MAX, VW, Doritos and Audi. To manage social media advertising, NFL has launched Social Media Command Center. Some of the things that Social Media Command Center intends to do is to stream the game online with additional camera angles, live starts, in-game highlight, commercial replays and other goodies. The social media command center as also created a second screen which blends together social updates from players, hosts and the media. Fans can as well post to the stream and at the same time to twitter and facebook.
NFL players are big brands. The players use the social media to market themselves. By creating a huge fan base the player as a brand has a wide connectivity with the consumers, in this case the fans. NFL has players that are well recognized.How the NFL has embraced and is dominating social media Chad Ochoncinco for example has close to three million followers (NFL.com). Every time fans want to stay hooked in with their players. This huge base offers a platform for companies to market their products. One of strength of NFL is that beside the huge fan base, the league is more of a show than a game.
Both NFL and NBA have acknowledged the connection between sports and social media but their policy towards social media differs. NBA outlaws the use of electronic devices during games. This period is defined as 45 minutes before tipoff until after media obligations have been completed. Players are allowed to use social media during pregame access. In NFL, coaches, and operations staff cannot use social media less than 90 minutes before kickoff. Access to social media is allowed after the conclusion of traditional media interviews. Both clubs have tough penalties for players who flout these rules (NFL.com).
NBA and NFL players are strong brand in social media. Both clubs players command huge following. In both clubs, players use social media to connect with their fans. Of rate, the clubs have realized the marketing potential embedded in the social media. Corporate societies are angling to use the clubs social sites to reach to the wide audiences.How the NFL has embraced and is dominating social media Like in any other sports, NBA and NFL are concerned with outlandish comments made by their players in social media. In an effort to embrace the social media, NBA and NFL have engaged public relations firms to train their players, coaches and operation staff on the best method to exploit the social media.
How social media is changing the NFL
Social media is increasing taking the center and front of all the 32 teams and their players. The social media is changing the way the club and the players interact with their fans. From a No Fun League, social media is increasing fans and clubs connectivity. Instead of the usual autographs, fans now appreciate tweets from players. Social media has made the sport more interactive (NFL.com). In most of the time players are wired in social media interacting with their fans. What happens on social media in relation to NFL becomes the subject matter on ESPN shows such as Around the Horn, Pardon the Interruption, Sports center, NFL Live and many others.
Social media has changed the way of marketing. NFL stand to benefit from the companies that are salivating to huge audiences those NFL social sites attracts. Companies want to use these sites as their platform to reach potential consumers thus more income for NFL. Due to massive following, social media has created a platform for players to market their brand name. Names like Ochoncinco, Rob Gronkownski and Stevie Johnson are strong brand names (NFL.com).
With a huge following, companies are positioning to benefit from the huge market potential offered by social media. Nonetheless, social media has few draw backs that NFL is struggling to rid with the necessary training. Unwarranted comment made by players can sometimes be disgusting in the public eyes. Overall, social media has positively transformed how the NFL relates with its fans.
Anjum, Ahmad. Social media marketing: The next marketing frontier. New York: GRIN Verlag. 2011. Print.
Cater, Davis. Money games: Profiting from the convergence of sports and entertainment. Stanford: Stanford University Press. 2010. Print.