Sports Media Challenge’s (SMC) proprietary search engine, Buzz Manager™, discovered that Shaquille O’Neal had an account on a social network called Twitter. SMC contacted Shaq to verify that this was really him. As it turned out, the Twitter name “ShaquilleONeal” wasn’t actually Shaq. Sports Media Challenge encouraged him to counter the impersonator by creating his own Twitter account under the name “The_Real_Shaq.” After creating this account, SMC contacted major mainstream media outlets and social media websites to alert influential content providers to the situation. There were dramatic changes within 24 hours. It is safe to say that this story has become viral in nature.
Something as simple as creating a profile on a social network has extended the reach of Shaq’s brand and helped to turn casual fans into strong brand advocates. This type of interactivity and openness ties fans to Shaq on a mass scale in a way that can’t be matched using any other method.
Where the story has spread:
The story was discussed in the New York Times, as well as many of the most influential blogs and blogs networks on the internet:
Deadspin: The most influential sports blog on the web (as ranked by SMC’s Sports Blog Index). It has over 350,000 visitors to the site per day.
SportsbyBrooks: The second most influential sports blog on the web, with well over 100,000 visitors per day.
The Big Lead: The third most influential sports blog on the web, with over 80,000 visitors per day.
Ballhype: Arguably the most influential network for sports blogger on the web. The story about Shaq has remained the top, “most hyped” and most discussed story since being posted 24 hours ago.
Yardbarker: Also one of the largest and most influential networks for sports bloggers. Many websites actually linked back to an original post on Yardbarker as their source.
Other influential sites discussing the Shaq Twitter feed include: Yahoo Sports Blog, Fan Nation (a property of Sports Illustrated), Slam Magazine, Dime Magazine, Sportaphile, Sport Crackle Pop, Give me the Rock, Bright Side of the Sun (most influential Phoenix Suns blog) and many more.