Social Media and Sports

October 29, 2011.  EverBank Field.  Georgia.  Florida.  THE Annual Cocktail Party.  Georgia has won only 4 times since 1990.  I have never seen us win in person.  Georgia goes down by 2 touchdowns in the first half.  I was expecting us to do our usual against Florida and just tank.  Second half: Georgia comes back to take the lead in the 4th quarter.  Gator fans start leaving half-way through the 4th quarter.  Time ticks off the game clock…5…4…3…2…1.  GEORGIA WINS!  I take this picture on my phone:

…and immediately post it to Facebook.

How many times have you been to a sporting event (or any event) and tweeted the score or posted a picture of you and our friends at the game or a scoreboard shot like this?

Social media is everywhere – we know that.  It’s most prevalent at sporting events.  On any Saturday in fall, there are numerous Facebook check-ins from stadiums, play by plays posted on Twitter and apps notifying you of a score from a game you are not at.  I often sit back and remember the time, not too long ago, we had to wait for a “Scoreboard” flash to see if Auburn or Georgia Tech was losing their game.  Now, I just tap the ESPN app on my phone and I know immediately.

Over the last couple weeks the University of Georgia Athletic Association counted down their “Top 10 Social Media Moments” (my favorite is #3).  The UGAA does a fantastic job with their social media efforts.  I imagine we will see more “Top 10 Social Media Moments” lists from other sports teams and businesses.  Mashable posted this great article on their favorite sports social media stories.

Just in this last week a football recruit for USC dropped USC from his choices because of backlash on his Twitter account.

With social media being “now” and “in the moment”, our sports experiences will be shaped differently from what they were a mere 3 or 4 years ago.  We can immediately go online and bash our favorite team for a 3OT game loss in which the field goal kicker missed 3 field goals and the offensive coordinator went conservative on his play calls and allowed the other team to come back and tie the game.  Or we can take to Twitter to applaud an athlete for an outstanding dunk or TD reception.  It is all interactive now.  Fans can rejoice or commiserate together.  Athletes can apologize or announce.  Teams can sell tickets.  All on social media.

Is this good for sports?  Most say yes.  There will always be some who do not like things to change.  I say it’s all for the better.  I enjoy the convenience of having score alerts, play by plays and such right at my fingertips.  I often have Facebook or Twitter up during a Georgia game just to see what everyone thinks of a play or complain about the referees.  It’s all around and no going anywhere.

What are your thoughts?  What is your favorite sports social media moment?



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