Twitter is revolutionizing the way we communicate, in that we all make jokes about the same thing at the same time. It’s like having a largely unmanageable group of your best friends sitting in your metaphorical living room and cracking wise while also simultaneously promoting jokes they told in the privacy of their own homes and sometimes showing your pictures of what they’re eating. It’s pretty great and there are more than 100 million active users, so you know it’s legit. I mean, Ashton Kutcher uses it, which is proof enough for me.
And because Twitter is such a huge thing, people are trying to find ways to engage that gigantic demographic. The Phoenix Suns have a pretty good idea about doing such a thing. From Sports Business Journal:
Officials said the Suns will be the first NBA club to hire a dedicated social media sideline reporter for its home game broadcasts, which are shown on Fox Sports Arizona. It’s a new twist for one of the more active NBA teams using social media as a major marketing tool.
“We will still have our sideline reporter, but the [social media sideline] reporter is a new addition,” said Jeramie McPeek, vice president of digital for the Suns. “We want to try something different and add a new element and a social media personality into the broadcasts. Our fans [using social media] are most active and engaged about the Suns during games.”
The team’s plan for the reporter will include providing updates on where Suns topics are trending on social media during games, reading tweets and adding other social media game broadcast enhancements, McPeek said.
This seems like a really weird job to tell your parents about. “Hey mom and dad, just got a new job. I’ll be tweeting on the sidelines at Suns game. You know, Twitter. It’s like this thing where you send little updates and everyone who follows you gets the updates at the same time. Well, I guess it’s kind of like text messaging but not really. It’s confusing a little, but it’s a pretty big deal now. Yeah. Yeah. Yep, I’ll be on TV. Yep, sending tweets and checking Twitter and stuff like that. Once you see it, you’ll understand.” That conversation is bound to be a doozy.
But just because it’s confusing, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea. The Suns have been active in the Twittersphere for quite some time, with guys like Shaquille O’Neal, Steve Nash and Jared Dudley making names for themselves on the service, so it makes sense that they’d guide their broadcasts in to that realm eventually. You’re starting to see Twitter handles show up on chyrons, tweets get discussed on highlight shows and MTV employing Twitter reporters for their award shows. It’s going to be clunky at first, and probably useless, but eventually this will be a real thing that you see happening all the time. Word up to the Suns for being the first NBA team to get on board.
Besides, it’s hard to complain about this when you consider the comedic potential of sending some hilarious Suns tweet to their reporter and having it get on air. Start sharpening your zings.