SBD/Issue 152/Sports Media

NFL To Look Into Use Of Twitter And Web To Reveal Draft Picks Early

NFL Will Review How Teams Announce Picks,
Determine If Policy Needs To Be Developed
The NFL will look into teams "revealing their draft picks on their Web sites and through Twitter even before commissioner Roger Goodell might have announced the selections," according to the AP. The Patriots planned to "use Twitter to announce" their picks in real time, and the Chargers planned to "post their picks" on their Web site when they made a selection. NFL Senior VP/PR Greg Aiello: "After the draft, we will review how the teams are announcing their picks and determine whether we need to develop a policy" (AP, 4/24). In Boston, Christopher Gasper noted the Patriots' three trades and four draft selections "were posted on their Twitter feed prior to being announced on television." Patriots Exec Dir of Media Relations Stacey James in an e-mail said: "The 5,000 Patriots fans following realpatriots on Twitter were the first outside the team draft room to learn of the team's three trades and four second-round draft choices. It was a great addition to what is always an exciting day for football fans." NFL VP/Communications Brian McCarthy was tweeting from the Draft, but his announcements of picks "did not come prior to the television broadcast" (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/26). The BOSTON GLOBE's Gasper on Saturday also reported the Chargers' Web site featured a "pick cam" located outside the team's war room. As soon as the Chargers made a pick, a team official planned to "bring a card" to the camera. The Chargers also offered a "service in which fans can sign up to receive a text message announcing each of the team's picks" (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/25).

TROJAN HORSE: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Hannah Karp reports the Jets Saturday, after trading for the No. 5 pick to select QB Mark Sanchez, revealed the pick on Twitter, "texted it to their Jets Wireless subscribers and posted it to their Web site, all before ... Goodell made it to the podium to make the pick official" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 4/27). Meanwhile, CNBC.com's Darren Rovell noted Sanchez is "briskly picking up followers at a 150-per-hour pace" for his Twitter feed following his selection Saturday (CNBC.com, 4/26). Sanchez has 7,993 followers at presstime (THE DAILY).

WEEKEND TWEETS: More than 48,000 fans followed the Draft via the NFL's Twitter pages this past weekend. Tweeting for the first time, Goodell amassed 3,690 followers, second to NFL Network's Rich Eisen, who drew 4,383 followers. Eisen posted 309 updates during the two-day draft. NFL Network analyst Jamie Dukes had more than 1,500 followers (John Ourand, Staff Writer). NFL Network’s Fran Charles said of Goodell using Twitter durign the Draft, "What is this world coming to?” (“NFL Total Access,” NFL Network, 4/24).

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