Sports franchises, media connecting with fans on Twitter

In terms of stereotypes, the worlds of professional athletes and the tech-savvy users of Twitter don’t seem to be made for each other, but both...

In terms of stereotypes, the worlds of professional athletes and the tech-savvy users of Twitter don’t seem to be made for each other, but both Phoenix Suns center Shaquille O’Neal and the Detroit Pistons NBA club are proving that misconception wrong.

It turns out the Suns organization at large is also using the microblogging service as part of its digital outreach, an effort that also contains PlanetOrange.net, a social networking Web site. The organization is also planning a "TweetUp" – a physical meet-up for Twittering Suns’ aficionados – for mid-January, Amy Martin, Suns director of digital media and research, told PRWeek. "I think we are just at the tip of the iceberg here, and more than anything, one of the things you can gain as an organization [by using Twitter] is just listening to the fans and being able to understand their perspectives better, because that’s the environment, as opposed to the more controlled properties," she said.



Sports media is also getting in on the act. The Washington Post’s sports department is using Twitter to communicate with the DC region’s rabid Washington Redskins fanbase during games and throughout the NFL season at large. The updates came in handy during player injuries, and when a parking lot fire spread to numerous cars at Maryland’s FedEx field, Cindy Boren, deputy sports editor at the Post, told PRWeek. "It has a purpose journalistically, and it has its moments when you’re just complaining about the Metro [subway system], but overall it’s great," she said. "It’s a more convenient form of blogging. I was skeptical at first, but I like it, for one, because it cuts down on the pontificating and it cuts down on the trolling."

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