A New Way to Watch Alabama-LSU: Virtual High Fives with Social Media
Bob Brady, Xenophon Strategies Senior Associate.
Do you really need to watch the Alabama-LSU showdown for the National Championship on TV? Not necessarily. Social media can provide you an experience that your 55” flat screen can’t: interaction with your fellow fans.
Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have changed the way friends and fans take part in watching sports. The past few days for example, my Facebook wall has been lit up by dramatic play-by-plays from friends, hundreds, even thousands of miles away, watching the Spartans in football and basketball (which also went into overtime).
When going to college, it’s easy for friends to get together and watch a football game or basketball game either in person or on TV. Sitting elbow to elbow, you are there in the heat of the moment with your friends, watching the Michigan State Spartans beat the Georgia Bulldogs in the third overtime. At that very second, you can throw high-fives and bear hug each other to celebrate the win.
But what if you can’t go to the game or make it to a friend’s place to watch the game because he lives 500 miles away?
Although we weren’t in the stadium or arena together this week, I was able to share in the grandeur of the games, writing, reading and “liking” cheers for great plays or angry testimonials on blown calls and bad plays – the exact same thing my friends and I would be doing if we were watching in person.
These tools have connected alumni and sports fans after their college years, with instantaneous celebrations that are so fast that I sometimes check my Facebook wall before looking at the news online if I can’t watch the game. Friends who are at the game even post videos and pictures of the game online; giving a behind the scenes feel to the experience of following the game online.
Come Monday, January 9, Facebook and Twitter will be covered with college football fans cheering for or rooting against LSU or Alabama in the BCS Championship game. Now I’m not a fan of either team (unlike my colleagues Jay Silverberg who roars “geaux Tigers” and Jennifer June Lay who cheers “Roll Tide”), but I’m sure we’ll all get our updates from friends watching the game.
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