As the end of 2011 nears, it is safe to say that Twitter is here to stay. After breaking the 200 million member threshold earlier this year, the social network has become a mainstay for brands, media, sports teams, and of course the consumers.
It has become commonplace to see @handles and #hashtags on everything from billboards to live television to help promote movies, sports, gadgets etc. In the second half of the year, this practice began to see it’s way into the major sports.
- During the Postseason, Major League Baseball prominently displayed the #Postseason hashtag behind homeplate during the broadcasts.
- For a nationally televised game (ESPN) against Virginia Tech on Nov. 10th, Georgia Tech displayed their handle @GTAthletics on the sidelines.
- In what is believed to be a first in College sports, Mississippi State painted the hashtag #HAILSTATE (their traditional rallying call and fight song) in one of the endzones for a game against rival Ole Miss on Nov. 26th.
- Raising the bar, the Celtics are taking the Twitter advertising to the professional ranks. Visible during the preseason game vs Toronto, the Celtics displayed the @Celtics handle on the floor in front of the bench at the Garden.
Is this simply a PR move to be the first to try a new concept, or will see many more @’s and #’s moving forward? Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, tells Mashable:
“It’s a phenomenal idea. It’s a fun way to involve social media at the game, and to TV viewers it’s going to stir up emotions between both teams. I can definitely see the Mavs and other teams doing it.”
Look for more programs and organizations to integrate social media aspects into the physical world moving forward. These simple tactics not only act as a way to get closer to the fans, but also as a way to get fans closer to being customers.