It all started with St. Kilda. Those thank you guernseys. Great in theory but… not cute (did no one else think they looked pink and not red?).
Now we’ve got the Newcastle Knights who are randomly selecting fans’ Twitter handles to be printed on the back of their jerseys. Fans needed to tweet the name of their favourite Knight to Sports Bet, with the hashtag: #gotyourback. Not a bad idea… but there are better ones.
The idea behind this is fan involvement, which is (and should be) the goal of a sports club. Fans will love seeing their name on their favourite player’s jersey (I know I would) and it gives fans an opportunity to connect with each other. Great.
While I think this is a great idea, I wonder… are any of these people concerned that they may be harassed for this? Even if they’re not, they do open themselves up to trolls (seriously, they’re like Hydra – you cut one off one head and two more pop up in it’s place).
Personally, I’d prefer to see the players Twitter handles. You already know I think Aussie athletes, clubs and leagues don’t use social media to their full advantage. Part of this could be remedied if fans were more aware of where their favourite athletes are online. I’ve said before that I think every sporting event should make it mandatory to include player’s Twitter handles in the program but why not take it on step further? What about Instagram accounts? Blogs? Facebook pages? What if the players each had a different club/league related social media account? How fun would that be? (NOTE: This would only work in sports where they don’t run THAT much – cricket, league, baseball… AFL doesn’t work, no one would be able to read them).
This still allows for the connection between players and clubs but limits the chance that fans are bothered by other fans/opposing clubs’ fans.
At the very least, I have to commend the Knights for breaking new ground. Australia is a place of tradition (aka sports aren’t very innovative) and it’s always hard to be the first to try something new. There’s lots of room for error. I would love if this all worked out… but we’ll have to wait and see.
Wow. This was a short post.