On Monday, the National Football League announced that it will now limit use of social media and networks during the season. Players, coaches, officials, personnel, third-party representatives, and even the media are prohibited from updating their status, blogging, or tweeting 90 minutes before a game until post-game interviews are completed.
You can bet that the NFL will pay particular attention to Chad Ochocinco, who recently boasted in a personal Ustream chat that he plans to circumvent the rules and tweet while playing – even if it’s through a representative or strategic social operative.
I do find this interesting as I understand the NFL’s intent – I honestly do. But, in reality this is an untenable strategy and therefore not worth fighting.
Imagine a national or global brand monitoring intense volumes of conversations in real-time (at trending topic speed), which usually averages about 4,000+ updates per hour. Now picture the NFL attempting to identify offending parties within the noise and in turn, singling them out for official review and potential enforcement. The NFL would essentially need to implement a social media police force, which is impractical and expensive, or it would require the use of turks to perform this process on game days, but still face the burden of justifying action.
The ONLY way that this is even remotely enforceable, requires that the teams take responsibility and liability for the behavior of individuals and subsequently pay the penalties as a team for every incident.
Perhaps there’s a way to productively leverage this activity much in the same way that FOX is incorporating Tweets into its Glee and Fringe programs.
Remember, social media has yet to penetrate the living room…that’s the last mile – and it’s a game changer.
Perhaps the NFL should pay attention to the St. John’s men’s basketball team.
And players…and I mean this literally…keep your eye on the ball and not on Twitter. While cultivating relationships with your fans to shift from a fandom to a real community is important, your job is to win. It’s how you will earn fans now and every time you #crushit. Give them something to tweet about during the game based on your achievements and not your tweets.
What do you think?
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