There’s one thing with Twitter + sports I wish would go away: Dry, boring play-by-play. We live in a world of excessive information where fans have the option to consume things multiple ways, from multiple sources. The weight of every play does not rest on your Twitter account. That’s a beautiful thing!
I don’t literally mean tweeting every single play when I refer to play-by-play. I’m talking about dry and boring game updates like “pass is incomplete, there’s 3:41 left in the 3rd, we still lead, etc.” These moments don’t drastically change the game or momentum. Twitter isn’t Gamecast. Don’t treat it like that.
I really believe it’s time to throw away the play-by-play. Here are a few things to think about:
Limited resources? Focus on the big splash.
We all know staff and resources are limited everywhere. Instead of stressing about capturing every moment, focus on the highlights that count. When you free yourself up to focus on quality versus quantity, you can get more creative. You can’t do it all, so focus your energy where you can make the biggest splash.
It’s about the majority.
One thing I always hear in the play-by-play debate is that some fans want to have all the updates. On a social media network where you broadcast to a wide audience, “some” shouldn’t dictate what you do. Your coverage should be about the majority. It’s not about the 49 percent, but the 51 percent. Teams stand a greater chance of losing fans to excessive play-by-play (for being annoying), than losing fans because you don’t do it.
Cal Basketball took to Twitter polls to see if their fans wanted play-by-play. This a great idea to figure out what the majority wants.
Make the tweets unique.
I’m not opposed to game updates. That would be silly. I’m saying fans don’t need most plays. Focus on big highlights. Use visuals. Have fun. Make the commentary on the game something different than what fans can get elsewhere. Anyone can do dry and boring play-by-play, so focus on thing that can make your coverage your own.
Let the stats talk.
When you look at the stats, you’ll notice fans respond to color commentary and fun reactions much more than standard play-by-play. Don’t ignore the stats. Pay attention to the engagement of each tweet.
There are other options.
Just because your main team account doesn’t do play-by-play, doesn’t mean your fans can get it. Drive them to the places where they can follow along. And if all else fails, consider setting up a separate “game update” account.
This list skims the surface of why it’s time to rethink play-by-play. Twitter should be fun and engaging; it should be anything by dry and boring. When you realize your account isn’t responsible for covering every single play, it frees you up to do some really stellar things.
What are your thoughts? Is play-by-play a yay or nay?
Thanks for reading!