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Twitter Night Football


So, we took at stab at trying to “twittercast” the exciting Patriots/Bills game. Yes, it was me and @AdrianDayton who went to the game tonight. Adrian had some business in the Boston area, and he was able to get two tickets. Our highlights and lowlights here:

1. We were in the upper section, also known as Nosebleed Heaven. We were with a lot of Bills fans, which made Adrian happy, but not me.

2. Before the game, we took pictures, posted tweets, and set the atmosphere. We were ready.

3. It started off well. Yes, we offered play-by-play and even though we were expecting that most of our stream would be like, “Yo, stop tweeting every 30 seconds about the game,” we were pleasantly surprised to get tweets like these:

“@julito77 haha, bueno. you and @adriandayton did an awesome job tonight with the play by play.”
“catching up on football updates thanks to @julito77. obrigado meu caro! (:” (I think that is something good in Portuguese.)
“@julito77 thank you for the tweets, DVR is not letting me watch live mode, so your play by play is very helpful :)”
“@julito77 I am so very proud of you tweetcasting #NFL! You are wonderful guy!!”
“@julito77 what’s the score!?”
“@julito77 Tempted to share these updates with me neighbors on the plane. I’m sure the NFL would love that.”

I know Adrian got other tweets in this stream that basically said that people appreciated the value we brought to them. And also, we actually LOVED the fact that there were several TV timeouts, so it gave us time to pause and organize some of our tweets.

4. All of a sudden, and this happened two times, we lost cell phone service. We thought that it was a bit weird, I mean, we were in a packed stadium with several towers and satellites. But for 15 minutes in the first half and about 30 minutes in the second half, when the Patriots came back, we couldn’t tweet. Hmmh… But we thank ALL our Twitter friends for letting others know, especially major thanks to @justinthesouth.

5. We had fun, and we don’t think we killed the machine that is the NFL. We might have offered some value to about 20 people on Twitter, while the NFL broadcast reached millions. Our point, we enjoyed doing this, we joked around, made comments about some very annoying Bills fans, noticed some crazy guy wearing a New England shirt AND a Yankee cap (hello?), and tried to give a little color to our Twitter streams.

The night was a blast. And isn’t that what Twitter is all about? Just connecting with your friends online and sharing things? We think so.

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We have gotten comments from the Join The Twitter Users NFL Ban blog, but of all the comments, including a few from the NFL’s PR Office, we are proud to present this amazing suggestion from Chris Reimer, the Brilliant Owner of Rizzo Tees. Rizzo, this idea rocks. What do you all think?

NFL, Mr. Brian McCarthy, Julio , distinguished guests, fellow citizens………

I am going to give you some free advice. It is yours to keep. No, I don’t want Rams season tickets in exchange for this golden knugget. Seriously, no, keep the tickets.

You REALLY wanna create a buzz? Mashable, Gizmodo, Deadspin, EVERYONE talking about you, but in a positive light?

Here is what you do. Take a regular season NFL game, and make it your annual Social Media game. Encourage every ticket holder to bring their web-enabled phone. Maybe even give $5 off for anyone that can actually prove that they can Tweet or Facebook update from their phone. (I dunno, you’re the marketing experts, you figure it out).

Tell the fans to Tweet, Facebook update, Friendfeed, take pictures, (maybe even knock out some videos? Well maybe not yet, baby steps). This is going to be the world’s first OFFICIAL interactive game. In fact, make it some shiatty matchup like the Lions vs. Raiders. I guarantee you that, if you take the right line on this, you could make it HUGE! TV ratings will be through the roof, because every nerd will be tweeting with their friends as they watch. No one is actually going to turn off their TV to take part in this special game. They’ll be watching!

Think about it – a sporting event covered and documented by the masses unlike any before in the history of the planet. And it will have been your idea. You’ll be eons ahead of the other three sports (you’re already clobbering them, just finish them off already!)

Don’t be scared. This isn’t like mp3’s ruining the music recording industry. There’s only one NFL (LOL@Vince McMahon) – use these new powerful tools to your advantage. And free Ochocinco!

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So, first of all, we would like to thank The NFL PR Office for responding to our recent post Join the Twitter Uses Ban on thr NFL. It was a classy act, and we truly appreciate the back and forth. We would like to share the two comments that @nflprguy has shared as a way to clarify recent reports about the NFL’s social media policy when it comes to “twittercasting” of games.

Comment 1 (posted earlier today on our site)
“Perhaps i can clarify here for you re: NFL and fans on Twitter during gameday. I work in the NFL’s communications department and enjoy talking NFL on Twitter (@nflprguy).

We want people to tweet during games (as they did for the 65 preseason games so far). The only thing we (meaning our lawyers) would object to is someone trying to create play-by-play of the game with a literal description of every single play like:

1st and 10 on Ravens 20

Flacco hand off to Rice, tackle by Polamalu, 2yrd loss

2nd and 12 on Ravens 18

Flacco mishandles snap, loss of 2

3rd and 14 on Ravens 16

And so on…. (that’s 5 tweets by the way)

With an average of 150 plays per game, we’re talking nearly 60 tweets from the same person per hour. One tweet a minute for 3 hours. (on a personal note, I’m unfollowing someone who does that.)

The league has rights to the play-by-play accounts (cue the voiceover you hear during every sporting event …. Without the written consent of the NFL, etc.).

We’ve never went after a fan legally or remotely come close to suing for trying to do play by play on his blog/website. Nor do we expect on Twiter.

We’ve embraced Twitter and love watching/reading people tweet about games in progress. It’s like being in a sports bar. Tweet about great plays, tweet about other games, tweet about the announcers.”

Comment 2: Posted after I offered several questions and suggestions
“I’m not sure why you are confused. Tweet during the game, just as people have throughout the preseason, including myself. we’d ask that people just don’t tweet the literal description of play-by-play of every play as i described in the other comment.

we are not monitoring fan Twitter sites as someone suggested. as far as people who aren’t watching the game, they can go to nfl.com for the play-by-play of every single game.

by the way, u calling one friend and telling the score is quite different than you publicly doing play-by-play on your twitter page which is seen by 5,286 and growing followers.”

What are you thoughts? We have posted ours already in the earlier Join the Twitter Uses Ban on thr NFL, but want to hear from you.

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