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Sports Broadcasting Technology

NFL's Giants Getting Big Time Integration with Twitter

August 25, 2011


Since the social media site was first launched, there has always been an uneasy peace between Twitter (News - Alert) and the major American sports leagues. Sometimes that peace seems more like an all out war with both the NFL and the NBA issuing orders for players and coaches to stay away from Twitter at various times. The latest instance of the NBA firing a sideways shot at Twitter is the directive that bans coaches and players from communicating with each other using Twitter while there is a lockout going on.

The NFL has also issued several orders involving Twitter including an all out ban of “Tweeting” from players while there is a game going on. While the NFL, MLB (News - Alert) and the NBA seem uneasy about the social service, other sports like the UFC are embracing it whole hog, even offering up a big bonus to the fighter who can gain the most followers on the site.

Perhaps finally realizing that the league should try and embrace new media to get their name out there, the New York Giants are planning on taking an unprecedented step toward integrating Twitter with their latest pre-season game. When the Giants take on the New York Jets on August 27th and the New England Patriots on September 1st, fans will actually get to see their tweets live and in living color. Tweeted reactions to big plays will show up on the bottom third of the television screen to those watching the games on NBC 4 in New York.

While the Twitter feeds will only be broadcast on television during the final two pre-season games, the Giants home field, MetLife Stadium, will broadcast the tweets on the video board. Showing tweets is far from the only part of the integration between Twitter and the Giants. The team has also announced that there will be a “player of the week” race that will be voted on using Twitter hash tags that will be tabulated and updated on a dedicated microsite run by the team. The winning player will then have his merchandise discounted on the team’s online store.

The final step in this unprecedented move is that the Giants will make one player available per week to engage followers in Twitter chat. The question now becomes, will other NFL teams follow suit or will the Giants stand out from the crowd?

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Edited by Rich Steeves