NHL’s Team’s Tweet Gives Insight Into Growing Social Media Interaction

By McKenzie Whiteman

The world is commonly shaped by the words and opinions that social media platforms post for millions of viewers to comprehend. Whether it’s celebrity drama, natural disasters, or political updates, you can find information on literally anything without having to turn a page of a newspaper or type into a search engine. Because of the influence these sites have, some posts produce certain emotions. The quick response…a combative post. Twitter proved to be a platform for this kind of interaction when ESPN’s post rubbed the Columbus Blue Jackets’ media team the wrong way.

After the Blue Jackets’ 4-7 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, ESPN’s Twitter account read “Hey Columbus. Think you’re the best fans in the world? Prove it.” Below it read, “Apply now to the #FanHallofFame” and listed a link. It seems as if ESPN’s simply trying to promote some type of fan promotion. The Blue Jackets, however, didn’t see it as so. They responded by tweeting to ESPN with, “@espn Who is this?”. Some believe this is in reference to the television series, Seinfeld, and it’s popular bit in which its main character, Jerry, replies to phone calls with “Who is this?” in response to ridiculous comments stated by the caller. Whether or not this is true, the Jackets were obviously upset enough to tweet in attempt to show they care very little about what ESPN had to say.

While this may not be the biggest Twitter battle society has seen between major sport organizations, it’s certainly one of the most recent. Media is beginning to mean more than television broadcasts and radio reports. The public is beginning to gain insight on news on a more personal level through the use of social media. Because of the growing popularity of these sites, any post that is related to your particular organization is handled thoroughly or defended aggressively…thus these growing Twitter battles.

No matter if it’s on a large or small scale, teams are beginning to take a particular interest in what their social media accounts say about their organization. If an account posts something negative in regards to your organization and your account doesn’t counteract, your organization is deemed passive. If your respond with an overly aggressive post, your organization is seen as ruthless. How you post gives followers insight on how you conduct business.

This particular example between ESPN and the Blue Jackets gives off the assumption that the Jackets don’t particularly care about what the media has to say about their fans, (whether it was in regards to a promotion or not). It may not be the most aggressive social media battle the world has been exposed to, however it does provide an example of how organizations are interacting through social media. As social media is beginning to become the public’s main source of news and information, it’ll be interesting to see how sport organizations define themselves through their accounts.

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About McKenzie Whiteman

McKenzie is currently a Sport Management major at Bowling Green State University, who is in addition minoring in journalism. She particularly enjoys partaking in sporting events (whether helping to coordinate or to participate), and takes a special interest in writing pieces about issues in athletics or sporting events. Her goal is to work for a professional sport organization either in operations or to write pieces for the organization themselves.