While watching the Kings and Sixers duel on League Pass last night, something about the Kings' broadcast piqued my interest and I decided to Tweet about it:
Kings broadcast just displayed and discussed all their players' Twitter accounts. Are you listening Wolves marketing? #FreeKLove
2009 was the Year of Twitter due to the service's widespread adoption, which in turn was due in large part to the access it provides fans to celebrities. Unsurprisingly, professional athletes took to the medium quite well. So much so that the NFL and NBA instituted a social media policy for players before the start of their seasons this Fall.
Buzz Marketing Daily posted their Top 10 Most Important Tweets of 2009 and included one representative from the sports world: Nick Swisher's November 6th tweet from the World Series parade:
Man! This is so crazy and hella fun! I love New York!
Really Buzz Marketing Daily? Really. Really? That's the most important sports tweet of 2009?
Charlie Villanueva kicked-off the NBA Twitter controversy by angering Scott Skiles after tweeting during halftime.
Mark Cuban was the first NBA-related person to get a fine for his Tweeting, and most recently a positive, but errantly timed, tweet cost Brandon Jennings $7,500.
What about when Michael Beasley TwitPiced his new tattoo, only to be photobombed by his bag of weed? He started making veiled suicide threats and going to rehab. That seems pretty significant.
Remember when Shaq owned Oprah after her first tweet? An interaction between those two marketing titans on Twitter makes Swisher look like a teen LOLing about what happened in the cafeteria today.
But, of course I'm saving my favorite for last. Sure, it's a little homeriffic, but how about a basketball player breaking the news about his team's coach being fired?
Today is a sad day...Kevin McHale will NOT be back as head coach next season.
THAT, my friends, is an important Tweet. So important that the Timberwolves eventually put the kibosh on Kevin Love's tweeting, despite not reprimanding him. Sure, Ricky Rubio, Ryan Gomes, Brian Cardinal, Jonny Flynn and Ryan Hollins all have their own relatively-active Twitter accounts, but Senor Amor's account has been dormant since August with no signs of resurrection.
Kevin Love is the Timberwolf with the most marketing potential in Minnesota. Race will always be a factor in pro sports marketing, but Love's style of play and down-to-Earth demeanor are far more valuable to the Timberwolves than the color of his skin. Whichever it is, the Timberwolves marketing department (and maybe further up the chain) needs to accept the nature of social media (it's not always polite pats on the back) and Let Love Tweet.
So when you're telling your grandkids on Saturn about important sports tweets of 2009 via hologram, lay off the inane, major-market Swishers of the world and stick to Minnesota. That's where the trend-setters are.