Posts Tagged ‘NFL’
Entertainment - Written Wednesday, September 16, 2009 by Laura M. Carrillo - 6 Comments
Building off of my colleague Denis Hancock’s work on the NBA and Twitter, I thought it was only appropriate to look across other professional sports leagues to see how they are dealing with social media. Given that the NFL just kicked off last week and that I’m an avid fan, I decided to look at how the National Football League is addressing all of the social media tools that are available to coaches, players, and officials this season. What is most intriguing with this group is that the league and most teams are extremely protective of what information is made public and how it is communicated. The New England Patriots, my home team is led by a very tight-lipped Coach, Bill Belichick, who is notorious for his, um let’s call it succinct speaking style that leaves reporters annoyed by the lack of information shared with the press. The Twitters and Facebooks of the world, built on mass collaboration, communication and transparency, have been targeted by the NFL as channels that could actually harm this great football tradition of never providing more information than is absolutely necessary.
Having identified these potential sources of evil, the NFL announced a formal policy in early August cracking down on the use of Twitter, basically trying to ban the use of the tool by anyone in its ecosystem (players, coaches, staff, etc). So I guess formal communication channels were supposed to remain the norm and the opportunity to informally connect with fans, or communicate with a broader audience, the fundamental concepts behind social media and the reason it is becoming so popular, would not be taken advantage of? Some teams like the New Orleans Saints have taken a less harsh approach. Shortly after the NFL policy was released, Saints Head Coach Sean Payton stated that he is in favor of the medium as long as players use it wisely. This is the stance that we often recommend to enterprises as they update policies to include appropriate use of social media channels. The below chart from our redefining employee computing study, shows the difference between the old school style of thinking and the new. Note how much of the NFL mandate falls into the old school column. Specifically look at the objective row: The old school is to maintain control vs the new school attitude of building an environment built on understanding, capability and trust.