During last weekend’s Presidents Cup one thing sprang up that caught our attention. We know that brands, clubs, federations and even players are live-tweeting from events now as it becomes the ‘must have’ accompaniment to a live sports event.
We’ve seen the research by Twitter and the MLB on the effect of live-tweeting during an event and the growth it can have on followers and the number of retweets/favourites they get. This is based on content from the teams themselves who have all-access and a passionate follower base.
The Presidents Cup, a golf competition in which the US play against an International team in a similar set up as to the more illustrious Ryder Cup, took things one step further during the competition. This year a half-dozen Ohio State University strategic-communication students are working as “social-media caddies” for the duration of the event.
They walked the course with iPads and smartphones taking photos and recording observations for the Presidents Cup Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds. They also quizzed fans on golf trivia and award small prizes to those in the know. Mirko Mandic, a senior from Akron said “I love it here, except when it rains, it’s great to interact with the fans.”
The volunteer’s at events such as these have long been part of the events, enabling them to take place by helping organisers fill in many of the roles they just don’t have the money or resource to do themselves. Now it looks like social media has become part of this… but is it a wise decision? They are great at get spectators from A to B, looking after the amenities and being hosts at the course but would you put them in charge of your social media?
There may well be a CMS element to the software they’re using to ensure that everything is checked before being published (you’d hope so), in which case then it’s a case of gaining as much content as possible and then filtering through it to then push out the best to the appropriate platforms.
An interesting way of stretching resources to fit but hopefully they’ll ditch the ‘Social Media Caddie’ tops next year though.