The league itself is also aggressively getting the fans involved in social media. NFL’s Twitter account often makes up hashtags for the fans that are watching to use as a better way to communicate with other people who are also watching the game. They know that fans are already going to be using Twitter on a regular basis, so creating a hashtag for a game or other important events related to a team gives the fans an incentive to stay more connected with what is happening. The individual teams have followed suit and done the same thing, and sometimes even more. A small social networking company called Wayin has teamed up with the Broncos to help Twitter generate more revenue by displaying fans’ tweets next to advertisements on the big screens above the Broncos’ stadium (Banda). According to economics, consumers respond to incentives; the incentive to tweet when going to Broncos games has now greatly increased, making both the Broncos and Twitter better off financially. According to the head of sports at Twitter Geoff Reiss, “It’s no secret that Twitter has become the roar of the crowd during televised games, but we’re also seeing teams embrace Twitter for the in-stadium experience” (Banda). While many teams are still working on getting their players to use their own social media to help the teams to generate more revenue, the teams are now going straight to the fans. And while Wayin has not spread their services to other teams yet, it would not be surprising to see other teams using this sort of technology in the near future.
Through this research, the obvious indicator is that NFL teams are using social media for increased profits, players are using it to voice their opinions and connect with the fans, and the fans are using it to connect with their favorite teams and players. This creates the three-way connection that runs the social media world on the sports level, allowing opinions to be created and voices to be heard all around the world. All three aspects of this interconnected circle are what keeps the social network of the NFL going, and eliminating any part of it would cause it to fail. This connection has completely and positively changed the way that American football is consumed, and it will continue to change it for the better as long as more people become involved in social media platforms.
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