Posts Tagged ‘Nittany Lions

16
Dec
08

You’re Invited! Joe Pa Virtual Birthday Party

 So I’m a diehard fan of college football and of social media. The convergence is very cool and in my opinion extremely appropriate considering the masses of displaced fans. In that vein, we at Sports Media Challenge came up with a test of whether or not we were in a different orbit than the rest of the sports world.

 Shaq’s emergence on twitter has been a monumental success which just set our imaginations loose here in Charlotte, NC. Twitter seems to shine around events. I actually tracked twitter conversations prior to, during and after the Longhorns Thanksgiving day game to determine if the conversation escalated during the live game or not. It clearly did.

So we thought  we would combine the mass power of twitter and other social media platforms to reach out to Penn State and college football fans to create a surprise virtual birthday party for the legendary Coach Joe Paterno as he turns 82 on Sunday.  It’s not in Joe Pa’s nature to intentionally draw attention to himself especially as he’s readying his team to play in the Rose Bowl on Jan.1st. But we can do it for him and show the sports world and frankly world in general, the power of what we  call fan-generated media.

 

Happy, happy Joe Pa birthday blog

An aside here. My new found twitter friends have been invaluable @meglyn, @publiside, @lisahoffmann in this effort as have the SMC staff  Brittany, Hannah, Ryan and Jackie-a hardworking intern. They’ve generated ideas and implemented them at all hours of the day and night. This social media stuff may be “free” or low cost, but certainly not low maintenance.

So for the sake of those trying to figure this social media thing out like we are, here are a few points to keep in mind – challenges and fun involved in this worthwhile project of creating the sports world’s  first ever virtual birthday party.

  • Short lead time. Through social media & with twitter you can launch a major project like this in a week’s time but if you can get more time ,do.
  • Hash tags for critical tracking. It took us a couple of days to remember to put #JoePa82 at the end of our tweets to make it easier for us to see what kind of traction we are getting and make necessary adjustments. Buzz Manager will track and analyze conversations across all social media.
  • Priorities.  It’s definitely a bad time to try to enlist any help for a project like this outside of bowl preparations.
  • Digital Natives & Digital Immigrants. Inviting people to a virtual birthday party is one thing, making it easy for them to understand what that means and how to participate is something different , especially if they don’t spend much if any time in the social media space.
  • Community Relevance. The larger a twitter community “followers” the better,  however, all the followers in the world won’t help you if your interests in the project don’t intersect. You can’t rally the  fans around football if they’re more interested in baking cookies.  Cool twitter community growing every day

 There are obviously many more lessons learned which we can talk about later but hopefully this will start you thinking about the possibilities of word of mouth marketing and the many routes to get you there. So if you’re inclined to celebrate Coach Paterno’s 82nd birthday “virtually” or are simply willing to be a part of this social media experiment, check out the birthday blog http://JoePaBirthday.blogspot.com   and…

1.      Spread the word to those who might be interested

2.      Post links to videos, audios, or add your text  best wishes to Joe Pa in comments

3.      Check back to see the lead up to the big day on Sunday (watch for other big name coaches to send their bests to Joe Pa on the blog)

We don’t expect Joe pa to be checking the internet so we’re pretty sure it’ll stay a surprise for at least a couple more days.  More to come tomorrow …

 

 

 
Cool twitter community growing every day
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