Social Media has quickly become the best friend of professional sports. It is a quick, easy way to connect with fans and the media. The seven teams mentioned in the article (link above) all have researched the different avenues of ways to connect with fans via social media, and obviously are doing a great job if they are listed as one of the best. However, one team that is not listed is breaking ground (and potentially good etiquette) in the realms of sports social media.
The Los Angeles Kings, a team in the National Hockey League (NHL), has been making an unprecedented run for the Stanley Cup. At the time I am writing this, they currently hold a 1-0 lead over the New Jersey Devils in the best-of-seven Stanley Cup Finals. Throughout the playoffs, fans have gone to the Kings twitter account (@LAKings) for pictures, updates, news and…the occasional jab at their opponents. That’s right. They are taking shots not only at the opposing teams, but at the cities they play in and rival fans.
Mashable posted an article the other day stating that what the Kings are doing is crazy, but it is just crazy enough to work. After beating the Number One seed Vancouver Canucks, the Kings tweeted “To everyone outside of BC [British Columbia], you’re welcome.” When landing in New Jersey for the Finals, they tweeted “Aside from fist pumping, what else is there [to] do in NJ?” Canuks and Devils fans were shocked and angered. Fans of other teams quietly smiled and laughed.
But the point isn’t to be making fun of these other teams/cities. What the Kings have done is given a more personal voice to their Twitter account. Instead of speaking as an organization, reporting on scores and news updates, they are speaking with the tone of a fan. This allows for ACTUAL fans to interact more with the account. All of the sudden, they aren’t asking some PR professional a question about the team. They are interacting as fans. Just a few guys/girls standing around the water cooler talking about Kings hockey. And in the high-energy low-attention span world of Los Angeles where hockey isn’t the big ticket people are running to the box office to get, it gets people talking and interested. “Hey! Did you see what the Kings tweeted? They sure ripped New Jersey a good one!”
I expect more teams to be looking at what the Kings have done and changing their own styles. You don’t need to necessarily resort to making fun of a team, city or fan base. Just changing the voice of the tweets themselves can do wonders.