Andy Wendt – Fun Technology

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The NFL & Social Media

The NFL & Social Media

If you’re hoping to get Eli Manning’s thoughts in 140 characters or less this fall, you’ll have to wait until until he has given them to the media first.  The NFL has made some decisions about social media, who can use it, how, when and where. 

Players, coaches, and operations personnel can use Twitter, Facebook, etc., but no closer to kick-off than 90 minutes and only once they’ve given their traditional media interviews after the games.  Updates during the games by any individual or any representative of the individual are strictly prohibited.  

Game officials and officiating department personnel are banned from using the applications at all times.   The ban is considered an extension of the league’s rule that prohibits play-by-play descriptions of games in progress.  

The decision comes after San Diego Chargers cornerback Antonio Cromartie tweeted negatively about food service at the Chargers’ training camp.  He was fined $2,500.  Several teams, including the Broncos, Patriots, Bills, Colts, Saints, and Lions, have already set up team restrictions on the practice field, this summer.  The Miami Dolphins went all out, restricting players, reporters, and even fans attending training camp. 

On the other hand, the NFL has taken great advantage of sites such as Twitter, using it to connect with fans and make announcements; the NFL security department even assists in removing fake website set up in the names of various players.   Saints cornerback Malcolm Jenkins used Twitter to announce that he had signed with the team.  The Cincinnati Bengals used Twitter to announce the signing of Andre Smith.   NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell even tweeted live from the draft in April.

In a statement, the NFL acknowledged the positive impact social media has had on the league but also insisted they were trying to keep it in its appropriate form, “The growth of social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook has created important new ways for the NFL and clubs to communicate and connect with fans.  The NFL has been at the forefront of the use of new media and will continue to emphasize innovative and appropriate use of these new forms of communication.”

October 19, 2009 - Posted by | Social Media | , , , ,

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