Sports Teams: Times Have Changed, Adapt!

by cinta5 on September 28, 2009

I cannot help but remember Bob Dylan’s song “The Times They Are A-Changin’” when I think of how some sports teams are handling social media.  The Texas Tech football program is the most recent example of the mishandling of social media.  They have completely banned Twitter from their players. (Link: Texas Tech Football bans Twitter)

There is a fear of the unknown within athletic programs. A proactive approach is the key when it comes to social media.

As linked in the previous post, some programs are handling it better than others by drawing up guidelines for players and consequences for any social media misconduct.  Completely refusing social media from players is not the answer. There is a fear of the unknown within athletic programs. A proactive approach is the key when it comes to social media.  If they educate their players and staff with what is acceptable and what is not appropriate on Twitter, Facebook, etc., along with implementing consequences for misconduct, they will limit the number of infractions to few, if any.

If athletic programs do not adapt to the changing pace of information and the emergence of social media then not only will they be left behind but they could also find themselves covering up or cleaning up a damaging situation that could have easily been avoided.

About the author

Jacinta wrote 79 articles on this blog.

Owner of LangfordMedia

  • BearGoodell

    Very timely post, Jacinta. The news out of Lubbock is disappointing. Rarely are reactionary decisions the correct ones.

  • http://nathanborror.com/ Nathan Borror

    Wouldn't existing codes of conduct already apply to social media? Why would the public online medium be considered any different than the public physical medium?

  • http://www.freelancesocialmedia.com jlangford

    Bear – Thanks, it's very disappointing.

    Nathan – Existing codes of conduct should apply, but the way people conduct themselves is different. One person could think they're conducting themselves appropriately, but could be seen as inappropriate by others or an institution.

    Also, it isn't necessarily considered public by most people, at least not in the same light as a media interview. You typically have to be a friend or follower. I think that the differences between the two mediums certainly would benefit from further clarification that includes specific social media guidelines. Being specific is always better than general, especially when so much is at stake (scholarships etc)

  • Pete H.

    I'm really confused here!? how will they be “left behind” by not allowing the players to tweet during the season!? And try NOT to think like a marketer for a change, and try NOT to use your buzz words and tautologies… It occurs to me that the easiest way for any team to get left behind is to start losing games because the coaches and players are preoccupied with the newest inane social media tool.

    By the way, your image for this post sums it up perfectly… it is just a bandwagon, the sooner you realize the better, then we can move along with the important work of 'choosing' the best tool for a given context!

  • http://www.freelancesocialmedia.com jlangford

    Pete, thanks for the comment! The players are not the ones being left behind. I'm talking about the administration not understanding social media. Choosing to ignore it all together will be a problem. Twitter and Facebook have hundreds of millions of members combined, it's not a fad. Texas Tech's problems on the field go way beyond Twitter.

    As for the image, I like it. The designer did a great job.

    P.S. Texas Tech should have kicked that field goal against Houston.

  • Pete H.

    I'm really confused here!? how will they be “left behind” by not allowing the players to tweet during the season!? And try NOT to think like a marketer for a change, and try NOT to use your buzz words and tautologies… It occurs to me that the easiest way for any team to get left behind is to start losing games because the coaches and players are preoccupied with the newest inane social media tool.

    By the way, your image for this post sums it up perfectly… it is just a bandwagon, the sooner you realize the better, then we can move along with the important work of 'choosing' the best tool for a given context!

  • http://www.freelancesocialmedia.com jlangford

    Pete, thanks for the comment! The players are not the ones being left behind. I'm talking about the administration not understanding social media. Choosing to ignore it all together will be a problem. Twitter and Facebook have hundreds of millions of members combined, it's not a fad. Texas Tech's problems on the field go way beyond Twitter.

    As for the image, I like it. The designer did a great job.

    P.S. Texas Tech should have kicked that field goal against Houston.

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