Twitter Hops Off the Bench and Joins the Game
We’ve watched the early evolution of social media through the last decade and cheered as it grew from a college “who’s who” to a billion dollar business. In the last year especially, brands and media outlets like film and television, have latched on to social media’s rising star to find a way to leverage the growing number of users. From onscreen Hashtags during TV episodes trying to spark conversations to promoted Tweets (which aren’t always a great idea), the entertainment industry is completely immersed in social outreach. So the obvious next step in Twitter’s quest for world domination is to partner with another eager and powerful industry — sports marketing.
Twitter is no longer a benchwarmer and is now the NBA’s star player. They’ve partnered with ESPN to build a strategic collaboration between the brand and platform to provide basketball fans and potential advertisers unique, engaging and interactive programs centered around major sporting events. They’re launching the partnership with the upcoming NBA finals where their efforts will be promoted across Twitter’s Promoted Products suite including promoted Tweets and a promoted Trend during the actual finals. The robust campaign will be supported through all ESPN networks as well as ABC and ESPN’s digital assets including ESPN.com and ESPN Mobile.
Their programs will be co-created by ESPN and Twitter, the first of which will prompt Fans to Tweet photos of their “game face” with the hashtag #GameFace during the NBA finals for a chance to win a trip to and full tour of a sports fan’s Mecca — ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut. At the end of each game, NBA Tonight analysts will promote the contest on-air and will reveal the best photographs of the day. The photos will also be included in a photo gallery on ESPN.com, further perpetuating the multiple channel integration.
It’s brilliant. ESPN has leveraged the passion of their fans, popularity of their brand and widespread impact of their far-reaching channels to take control of the NBA finals conversation on Twitter and slyly continue to make their brand synonymous with the NBA. I’m excited to watch as the campaign plays out and to track the success of their engagement. I’m most interested because they have announced that they plan to repeat this format with other large upcoming sporting events which include the 2013 Super Bowl, which is to be played right here in New Orleans. As a resident of NOLA and a social media marketer, I can’t wait to participate in and monitor the social interaction promoting the game and the city of New Orleans. FSC is honored and incredibly excited to be a part of the Super Bowl Technology Committee and we look forward to working with and promoting innovative campaigns like these during the 2013 Super Bowl.