Author Topic: Players chime in on the growing Twitter sports trend  (Read 1436 times)

Offline K_Lincourt30

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Players chime in on the growing Twitter sports trend
« on: May 01, 2009, 02:21:01 AM »
These days, everyone is all a-Twitter about Twitter.

In just the past few months, Twitter has become the hot new media platform to link professional athletes directly to their fans. By receiving messages from athletes on their computers and directly as text messages to their phones, over 800,000 fans are following NBA players like Shaquille O'Neal or legendary cyclist Lance Armstrong.

Followers of professional players' "tweets" are allured by the behind-the-scenes access to an athlete's every move.

Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) has been ahead of the trend, integrating the communication tool into the league site and its grassroots approach as much as possible. Over 20 WPS players are officially tweeting, giving fans a new take on their daily lives, including one trio of English internationals.

Alex Scott, Kelly Smith (Boston Breakers) and Karen Carney (Chicago Red Stars) are regularly tweeting, giving Twitter followers bouts of friendly banter each day about their training, the league and most recently the Chicago Red Stars thrashing of the Boston Breakers.

Smith tweeted, "finally back to Boston after a dreadful performance v. Chicago." Scott posted, "still hurting from getting beat 4-0, a game to forget, good goal Karen, will see you for a rematch soon, hehe." Fans also got an update from Karen about Chicago's bye week, "On my way to training�no game this week = running."

However, these three players are not about to stream live status updates during a match — they say that, for them, it can be a distraction. But they do see the value of forming a unique connection with the league's fans.

"I think I heard about Twitter on TV and was curious as to what it was," said Boston defender Scott. "Since I signed up it has now become an everyday habit for me to go on there and update what I am doing, to talk or have some banter with Karen Carney." Scott, Smith and Carney have a combined total of 412 followers on Twitter.

Los Angeles Sol midfielder Aly Wagner has over 600 followers on Twitter and WPS has nearly 4,000 followers, numbers that rise daily. The WPS website also lists several other players Twitter accounts for fans to connect to.

Twitter updates, Scott says, give fans fresh insight into what players are doing on and off the field and an opportunity to learn more about the players; Carney agrees saying the more exposure the players and their teams get, the better for the league.

On the flip side, some critics and media columnists contend that Twitter could interfere with game day focus and preparation, if players do it too much. WPS allowed players, Aly Wagner and Kati Jo Spisak, to Twitter during the WPS Inaugural Match on March 29.

These player tweets contributed to the historic moment of the opening game. And now, during the season, fans can view live game updates on each of the seven WPS teams Twitter pages as most teams also send live in-game texts to wanting recipients.

While the status updates are a cost-effective way for the league to disseminate minute-by-minute messages, the greater effect is generating relationships and a direct connection with WPS supporters and fans. Twitter takes out the middleman and allows players, coaches and even team owners/staffers to issue their own play-by-play out to curious followers.

Now that's something to Tweet about

Offline Roberts

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Re: Players chime in on the growing Twitter sports trend
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2009, 10:48:15 PM »
The england ladies are funny on twitter, taking the mick out of each other and giving an insight into their football lives - it makes me jealous lol

Offline K_Lincourt30

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Re: Players chime in on the growing Twitter sports trend
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2009, 01:01:43 AM »
LOL, I know. They really seem to like Chicago and Boston, and love their teams, too. It's good to see the friendship between them, the fun banter and rivalry. But I do have to say that Germany is in trouble of holding on to the Euro trophy this summer. England is coming to get them, and I hope it's a slaughtering!!

Offline Roberts

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Re: Players chime in on the growing Twitter sports trend
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2009, 02:58:52 PM »
A slaughtering would be excellent! But those german girls are tough, its going to be an exciting euros either way  ;D

Offline K_Lincourt30

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Re: Players chime in on the growing Twitter sports trend
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2009, 08:11:16 PM »
Every team in the world "owes one" to Germany for some reason or another. I watched this documentary recently about the German women, and what they did and stuff during the WWC in China. They were pretty arrogent, and even though they tried to play it down, they strutted all throughout that film. They put players from other teams down, Silvia Neid was the worst for that, actually. So, yeah...they are up for a good slaughtering, and no team better than England to give them the first of several to come. I'm also thinking Sweden will get a good wallop in there, too, the way they've been playing this year.

My prediction:
Group A: Denmark and Netherlands
Group B: Germany and France
Group C: England and Sweden 

Euro Final: a rematch between England and Sweden