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SBD/July 15, 2011/Media
Celebrating Its 5th Anniversary, Twitter Has Become A Fixture In Sports
Published July 15, 2011
Twitter celebrates the fifth anniversary of its official launch on Friday, and it is "as good a time as any to acknowledge that Twitter is a permanent part of the sports firmament," according to Jon Wertheim of SI.com. Every MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL franchise "has a Twitter presence," as do "roughly half of all professional athletes." The social media phenomenon now has moved "well beyond 140-character bites and into more content-rich experiences and more practical uses." When the Chargers "faced a possible television blackout last season, the team took to Twitter and sold the seats." Other teams use Twitter "for everything from letting fans vote on the music played during games to holding draft parties." During a recent MLB game, the White Sox and Indians "hosted a #hashtag battle, donating $1 for cancer research each time a fan used either #GoTribe or #GoWhiteSox." UFC "has even offered a Twitter bounty, rewarding fighters in cash for amassing the most followers." Athletes "may have started by using Twitter as a toy, but now often use it as business equipment, a device for connecting with consumers, branding themselves, moving product." Cavaliers G Baron Davis said, "It's a way of getting your voice out there, your personality across, where in the past you had other people speaking for you. It's all you, so there's no manipulating the message" (SI.com, 7/14). As part of a more extensive examination of Twitter and sports, SI lists its inaugural "Twitter 100." More than 50 SI staffers weighed in on the list, offering thoughts on "feeds they considered essential to their daily routine for finding news, information and entertainment from the sports world." Sports business execs selected for the Twitter 100, which is not ranked, are listed below (SI.com, 7/14).
FOLLOWERS (THROUGH JULY 14)
|Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban||
|Boxing promoter Lou DiBella||
|Colts Owner Jim Irsay||
|Goodwin Sports Management's Nate Jones||
|Rockets GM Daryl Morey||
|Tulane Law School professor Gabe Feldman||
|UFC President Dana White||
REAX: Weighing in on the list, Octagon VP & Managing Dir of First Call David Schwab wrote, "Quality list." CFL Manager of Digital Media Jaime Stein: "A good list." Yahoo Sports' Maggie Hendricks: "SI's Top Twitter list is good, but missing any Olympics or MMA media." However, CBS Sports' Mike Freeman wrote, "Sports Illustrated top 100 Twitter list: few journalists of color, no independent sports bloggers. In other words, total crap." ESPN N.Y.'s Jane McManus: "Notice anything about the Twitter 100? ... There were only 3 women represented among about 40 journalists. Bizarre. Even worse regarding minority journalists." McManus continued, "What I love about Twitter -- you get everybody. That list is very old media filter, and that's not Twitter." SBNation.com Senior Editor Chris Mottram: "There are a lot of questionable rec's on SI's Twitter 100 list." Blogger Brooks Melchior: "SI 100 Twitter follows embarrassing. SI better than that." NBC Sports' Gregg Rosenthal: "Its a good thing players aren't as whiny about top 100 lists as sports media members, or we'd criticize them for it."